Romans 10
Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
SECOND SECTION.—More decided explanation of the mysterious fact. The faith of the Gentiles and the unbelief of Israel

ROMANS 10:1–21

A. Self-righteousness, and the righteousness of faith (Romans 10:1–11)

1Brethren, my heart’s desire [or, good-will, εὐδοκία] and prayer1 to God for Israel [on their behalf]2 is, that they might be saved [for their salvation]3: 2For I bear them record [witness] that they have a zeal of God, but not according 3to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness [not knowing (i. e., mistaking) the righteousness of God], and going about [striving] to establish their own righteousness,4 have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness 4of God. For Christ is the end of the law for [unto] righteousness to every one that believeth.5 5For Moses describeth [writeth concerning] the righteousness which is of the law, That the [saying, The]6 man which doeth those things 6[who hath done them] shall live by them [or, in it].7 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise [thus],8 Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above [omit from above]:) 7Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again [omit again] from the dead.) 8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even [omit even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which 9we preach; That [Because] if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [or, Jesus as Lord],9 and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath [omit hath] raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth. [faith is exercised]10 unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed [put to shame].

B. The equal claim of Jews and Gentiles to faith. Hence the necessity of universal preaching. The unequal results of preaching (Romans 10:12–18)

12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [distinction between Jew and Greek]:11 for the same Lord over all is [is Lord of all,]12 rich 13unto all that [who] call upon him. For whosoever [every one who]13 shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14How then shall [can] they call14 on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall [can] they believe15 in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall [can] they hear16 without a preacher? 15And how shall [can] they preach,17 except they be sent? as it is written,18 How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel [those who bring glad tidings] of peace,19 and bring glad tidings of good things! 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel [did not all hearken to the glad tidings].20 For Esaias [Isaiah] saith, Lord, who hath [omit hath] believed our report?21 17So then faith cometh by [of] hearing, and hearing by [through] the word of God.22 18But I say, Have they not heard [Did they not hear]? Yes [Nay] verily, their sound went [out] into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

C. The unbelief of Israel and the faith of the Gentiles already prophesied in the Old Testament (Romans 10:19–21)

19But I say, Did not Israel [Israel not]23 know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that [with those who] are no people, and by 20[with] a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias [Isaiah] is very bold, and saith,24 I was found of them that [by those who] sought me not; I was made 21manifest unto them that [those who] asked not after me. But to [of] Israel he saith,25 All day long I have [omit have] stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.


Summary.The fact of the partial rejection of Israel, &c. The fact is not a fatalistic decree, for the Apostle prays for Israel, and bears record to their zeal; Romans 10:1, 2. It rests rather on the antithesis between self-righteousness as the presumed righteousness which is of the law, and the righteousness which is of faith; Romans 10:3, 4. The righteousness of faith, although rising from Israel, is proved by the prophecy of the Old Testament to be, according to its nature, accessible to all men, and not confined to the Jewish nation. It is universal; that is, accessible to all in its internal character, because it is allied to the inward nature of man; Romans 10:5, 9. Its universality is confirmed by experience; Romans 10:10, 11. It is proclaimed by the Old Testament Scriptures, which promise, in Christ, salvation to every man. There arises therefrom the universality of faith—the freedom of faith to Jews and Gentiles; Romans 10:12, 13. This freedom of faith is made actual by the universality of the preaching of the gospel and of the apostolic mission; Romans 10:14, 15. Unbelief is voluntary, like faith. The gospel is conditioned by faith; Romans 10:16–18. But the faith of the Gentiles is prophesied in the Old Testament, as well as the unbelief of the Jews; Romans 10:19–21.

[There is little difference of opinion among commentators respecting the meaning of this chapter as a whole. Dr. Hodge coincides most nearly with Dr. Lange in his divisions. Tholuck, Philippi, Meyer, Alford, make two sections. (1) The further exposition of the fact that the exclusion of Israel is founded on their own unbelief; Romans 10:1–13. Alford: “The Jews, though zealous for God, are yet ignorant of God’s righteousness (Romans 10:1–3), as revealed to them in their own Scriptures (Romans 10:4–13).” (2) Proof from Scripture of the same fact; Romans 10:14–21. Tholuck: “They could not excuse themselves by this, that God had not done His part to make humanity know the gospel, or that it had not reached them, or that they could not have seen what their conduct with regard to it and God’s dealings with the Gentiles would be.” The connection with Romans 9:33 is very close; and as the Apostle is accustomed to repeat, at the close of an argument, the proposition from which he started, the repetition of the quotation of Romans 9:33, in Romans 10:11, favors the division of Dr. Lange.—R.]

A. Faith, Romans 10:1, 2. The fact described is no fatalistic decree.

Romans 10:1. Brethren [Ἀδελφοί. Bengel: “Nunc quasi superata prœcedentis tractationis severitate comiter appellat fratres.” Comp. 1 Cor. 14:20; Gal. 3:15.—R.] Though this is an address to all readers, yet it is directed with special feeling to the Jewish Christians. Repetition and carrying out of the personal reference in Romans 9:1 ff.

My heart’s desire, or, good-will [ἡ μὲn εὐδοκία τῆς εμῆς καρδίας]. A real antithesis to the μέν is contained in the judgment passed in Romans 10:3. [See Winer, p. 535; who thinks the antithesis was too painful to be expressed. All admit that the thought is found in Romans 10:3.—R.] Meyer, contrary to Chrysostom, Theodoret, and most of the early writers, as well as De Wette and Olshausen, holds that εὐδοκία mean wish, desiderium, but only benevolence (Vulgate, voluntas; Augustine, bona voluntas; Calvin, benevolentia). Tholuck: “There is, indeed, no example as yet in which εὐδοκία is exactly equal to ‘wish.’ But how could the Apostle have said, ‘My good pleasure and my prayer for them to God are directed to their salvation.’ ” Yet he regards it advisable to adhere to the translation: My good-will for them. [The lexical objection to rendering εὐδοκία, desire, is weighty. On the other hand, the rendering good-will severs it from the context. The insertion of after δέησις Was probably an attempt to avoid this difficulty. Alford suggests a “a mixture of constructions: the Apostle’s εὐδοκία would be their salvation itself—his δέησις, κ.τ.λ.,, was εἰς σωτ.” We hold to the more usual meaning of the word. Wordsworth pushes it as far as this: “Probably he uses this word because he wishes to represent the salvation of the Jews as a thing so consonant to God’s wishes and counsel, that, as far as He is concerned, it is as good as done; and the Apostle delights in looking back, in imagination, upon that blessed result as already accomplished.” There is little warrant in the word or context for such an interpretation.—R.]

And prayer to God [καὶ ἡ δέησιςτός θεόν. The latter phrase can be limited to δέησις without adopting the poorly supported The “prayer” was undoubtedly “of his heart,” but there are no grammatical reasons for connecting that phrase with these words. Δέησις is, strictly, petition, request.—R.] We refer καὶ ἡ δέησις back to καρδίας, and then exclusively to πρὸς τὸν θεόν. My heart is not only full of good-will toward the Jews, but it can also venture to intercede for them before God—a proof that they falsely regard me as their adversary—and I have not yet given up the hope of their salvation. This also comprises a pledge of Divine compassion. [So Bengel: “Non orasset Paulus, si absolute reprobati essent.”—R.]

[On their behalf is for their salvation, ὑπέρ αὐτῶν εἰς σωτηρίαν. The correct reading shows how close the connection with chap. 9 is. Meyer: “Σωτηρία is the end which my εὐδοκία would have for them, and my prayer asks for them.” The E. V. gives the correct sense, though in a paraphrase.—R.]

Romans 10:2. For I bear them witness [μαρτυρῶ γὰρ αὐτοῖς. Γάρ introduces the reason for the preceding declaration.—R.] He still sees, even in their error, something good: they have a zeal of God [ζῆλον θεοῦ ἔχουσιν. Zeal for God, not great zeal, or godly zeal]. (Acts 21:20; 22:3; Gal. 1:14; John 2:17.) This will, indeed, not be the only ground of his εὐδοκία, but is the ground of the cheerfulness of his intercession for them.

But not according to knowledge [ἀλλ’ οὐ κατ’ ἐπίγνωσιν. Comp. Romans 3:20, p. 123; Col. 1:9 (Lange’s Comm., p. 17).—R.] The ἐπίγνωσις is the knowledge which, being the living principle of discernment, impels far beyond the mere historical γνῶσις. Meyer’s definition: in consequence of the ἐπίγν., is incorrect. The antithesis: ἄγνοιαν, Acts 3:17. The Apostle’s statement may, at all events, be designed to alleviate his charge. The bright as well as the dark side of the religious zeal of the Jews was and is a peculiar phenomenon in the history of the world. [The objective advantages of the Jews were given in Romans 9:1–5; here we have the subjective religiousness, which corresponds, although degenerating into blind fanaticism. Yet religious fanaticism, we infer from this passage, is preferable to religious indifferentism. There is something to hope for, a ground for good-will, where there is earnestness.—R.]

Romans 10:3, 4. Self-righteousness, and the righteousness of faith.

Romans 10:3. For they, not knowing (mistaking) the righteousness of God [ἀγνοῦντες γάρ τήν τοῦ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην]. We take ground, with De Wette, and others, against Meyer, who does not see in the idea of ἀγνοοῦντες the element of mistake, but merely the declaration of ignorance. [Meyer justifies his position, by saying that Paul was only proving the “not according to knowledge.”—R.] But simple ignorance, without guilt, could have no meaning whatever in the present instance; and still less could it be the cause of wicked results. The same holds good of Romans 2:4; 1 Cor. 14:38; see also Tholuck, in loco. Their ἀγνοεῖν is the cause of their seeking to establish their own righteousness, and consequently they did not submit themselves to the Divine righteousness revealed in the gospel for faith.26

And striving to establish their own righteousness [καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν δικαιοσύνην ζητοῦντες στῆσαι. See Textual Note4]. Essentially, it is the same as the righteousness of the law, according to Phil. 3:9. Formally, this expression is stronger, because it not only signifies acquired righteousness in distinction from that which is bestowed, but as the real principle of this acquired righteousness, it denotes one’s own choice, power, and will, as well as man’s own will in opposition to God’s choice, grace, and order. [The point of this distinction is lost, if the phrase be construed as = their own justification.—R.] Therefore this effort remains a nugatory ζγτεῖν στῆσαι, (Romans 3:31; Heb. 10:9). The στῆσαι expresses the element of pride in their effort.

[Have not submitted themselves, &c., τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ … οὐκ ὑπετάγησαν.] Meyer regards the ύπετάγησαν as passive, as in Romans 8:20; 1 Cor. 15:28. Tholuck, on the other hand, correctly regards it as reflexive.27

Romans 10:4. For Christ is the end of the law [τέλος γάρ νόμου Χριστός]. First, τέλος must be left in its full signification, and not be considered merely as the negative end by which the νόμος is made void; second, Χριστός is = Christ himself, not simply the foundation, the fundamental law of His theocracy (Meyer), or the doctrina Christi (Socinians, and others). In both cases, Meyer’s explanation28 would destroy the full meaning of the text. The same thing is declared in reality by the passages, Matt. 5:17; Rom. 13:10; Gal. 3:24; Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14. The end of the law was Christ, because Christ was, in a positive form, the fulfilment of the spiritual, essential import of the law, and therefore He was, at the same time, the making void of the imperfect Old Testament form of the law. Comp. 1 Tim. 1:5; 1 Peter 1:9; Rev. 21:6; 22:13. The centre of the idea is therefore final aim, purpose, and end (Chrysostom, Melanchthon, Calvin, and others). There is no good ground for dividing this explanation into two different ones. On one hand, Erasmus, Wolf, and others, have brought out the positive view: Fulfilment of the law. The alternative here: obedientia activa, or obed. activa and passiva (see Meyer), must be removed. As for the negative view of the idea, Meyer cites a large number of authorities who harmonize with him in limiting it to this; yet he can hardly prove this by Augustine, Olshausen, and many others.29 Even Romans 10:4 plainly says that Christ is in so far τέλος νόμου as He is unto righteousness toevery one that believeth, εἰς δικαιοσύνην παντὶ τῶ πιστεύοντι, and the γάρ introduces just the proof that the Jews did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God, which, however, was manifested in Christ’s fulfilment of the law (comp. Romans 9:31). The question of the extent of prominence here given to the negative side of the τέλος, is connected with the explanation of Romans 10:5 and 6. [Stuart, following Flatt, renders εἰς, with respect to. It is better to take it as indicating result or purpose. The former will be preferred, if τελος be rendered aim; the latter, if it be rendered termination. The sense will then be, either: Christ is the aim of the law, so that righteousness may come to every one, &c.; or: Christ abolished (or fulfilled) the law, in order that, &c. The word righteousness has here the full sense, “righteousness of God;” but the emphasis rests on believeth.—R.]

Romans 10:5-9. The universality of the righteousness of faith is proved by the Old Testament also.

On the citations. It is evident that Romans 10:5 and 6 present an antithesis between the idea of the righteousness which is of works and the inward essence of righteousness. But it is clear from the place of the citations, that this antithesis means no contradiction between the Old and New Testament. The quotation in Romans 10:5 is taken from Lev. 18:5; the quotation in Romans 10:6 from Deut. 30:11–14. It is evident, therefore, that the Apostle places the two sides of the law in contrast, one of which is an external Jewish law of works, and the other is an inward law of the righteousness which is of faith, or a law designed for the inward life; the one is transient, the other permanent. Therefore, he takes his first statement from Leviticus, and from that part of it where the laying down of the Mosaic obstacles to marriage is introduced; the second, on the other hand, is taken from Deuteronomy, which early imparts a profoundly prophetical meaning to the law. Therefore we read, first: Moses describeth, or writeth (and what he writes is a command); but then, The righteousness which is of faith speaketh (and what it says is a proclamation). Though the Apostle holds Deuteronomy to be as fully Mosaic as Leviticus, yet, in the former, Moses administers his office as the Old Testament lawgiver of the Jews; while, in the latter, the prophetic spirit of the righteousness of faith speaks as decidedly through him as if it altogether took his place.

Romans 10:5.30 For Moses writeth respecting the righteousness, &c. [Μωυσῆς γάρ γράφει τὴν δικαιοσύνην, κ.τ.λ.. The accusative after γράφειν is either governed by the verb in the transitive sense: to write of, to describe, or is the remote object, that concerning which it is written. The rendering: describeth is perhaps too strong, though lexically admissible.—R.] Γράφει, John 1:46. The citation is from Leviticus, according to the LXX., but of the same purport as the original text.

We further read: Moses writeth down, or commands: The man who hath done them [ὅτι ποιήσας αὐτὰ ἅνθρωπος]. The ποιήσας is emphatic, yet it is significantly connected with ἅνθρωπος Αὐτά, that which is written, the commandments; the law, in the analytical form of commandments. The emphasis here rests on the doing. “But the righteousness which is of faith says: ‘The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; only confess with thy mouth, and believe in thy heart.’ ”

Shall live by them [ζήσεται ἐν αὐτοῖς See Textual Note7. If αὐτῇ be adopted as the correct reading, it refers to the righteousness accruing from the doing of the commandments (Alford). Dr. Lange renders ἐν, durch, but this is too strong; in the strength of, is better.—R.] The different readings appear to have arisen from an apprehension that the Apostle’s expression might cause a misunderstanding, perhaps an acceptation of the possibility of righteousness by works. Hence the omission of ἐν, and the reading ἐν αὐτῇ (“He shall live by righteousness itself”). Cod. A. even reads: τὴν δικ. ἐκ πίστεως. A proof how decidedly the early Church rejected the righteousness of works. The assurance of life has been referred to the life in Palestine. But the historical standpoint of the Mosaic economy indicates something further than the vita prospera. Proof: 1. The vita prospera in the real sense, or as the welfare of the people, is a special promise for obedience to parents; Exod. 20:12. 2. The most direct meaning of the passage in Leviticus is, that the transgression of the following statutes is connected with the punishment of death; Romans 18:29. 3. The passage in Deut. 30:16, not to mention Ezek. 20:11, indicates something further than the mere vita prospera.31

There are here two antitheses: first, that of the externality of the law and the inwardness of the gospel; second, that of doing and experiencing. In the first case the promise reads: shall live by them; and in the second case there is the assurance: he shall be delivered, shall be saved. We have already observed that the Apostle did not wish to say that there is a contradiction between the Moses of Leviticus and of Deuteronomy; we may now ask, whether he has instituted an irreconcilable contrast between the two passages. This is very supposable, if Romans 10:5 be regarded as a purely hypothetical and almost ironical promise: If one fulfil all the commandments of the law, he would certainly live by them; but since no one is capable of this, no one can find life by the commandments. Therefore, after Romans 10:6, the gospel now takes the place of the law. [So Hodge, and others.] But this cannot be the Apostle’s meaning. For, first, in that case the law would have been useless from the beginning. Second, an analytical fulfilment of the law would be designated as analytical, or at least as a theoretical way of life, by the side of the practical, and thus two kinds of righteousness would be conceivable, as well as two kinds of life. But, in our opinion, Romans 10:5 is not merely designed to prove that the law is at an end, but that its end has come because Christ has come. Therefore the expression in Romans 10:5 has an enigmatical form, as that in 1 Tim. 3:16. Moses inscribes his precepts thus: The man which doeth those things—that is, who truly fulfils them—shall live by them. To be sure, the most direct Jewish social sense of this declaration was, that the observer of the commandments should not be subject to death, but live. But in its religious meaning, the law was as a sphynx, whose riddles every Israelite should attempt and try hard to solve until he came to self-righteousness, until the people became matured, and until the Man came who solved the riddle.32 In Leviticus the significance of the form of the passage under consideration, “the man which doeth those things shall live by them,” appears in the addition: “I am the Lord.” The Lord holds up the prize, and pledges it; Christ has won it. Thus Romans 10:5 means not only the fact that Christ has made void the law by the fulfilment of the law, but also that he has transposed and transformed it from the whole mass of external precepts to a principle of the inward life. Therefore the Apostle can immediately assume, in Romans 10:6, that Christ is known and is near to all, and accordingly apply the statement of Deut. 30:11–14.

Romans 10:6. But the righteousness which is of faith [ἡ δέ ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοσύνη]. Just as Moses has referred prospectively to Christ by the law, so does the righteousness which is of faith, or the gospel, refer retrospectively to Him.33 The connection of the declaration in Deuteronomy is as follows: in chap. 29 the curse is threatened the people if they become apostate; and in chap. 30 mercy is promised them if they be converted. Romans 10:10: (The Lord will bless thee) “if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul.” Then, the ground of the possibility of such a conversion consists in the heartiness in the real spiritual nature of the law, which will always reassert and prove itself. The Apostle fully develops this christological germ by applying the promise of the righteousness of faith from the law to the gospel. The development is as follows:

1. As the inward character of the law was nigh and intelligible to the Jews at that time, or during the previous period in general, so nigh and intelligble must Christ, as the end of the law, now be to them.

2. As Moses, at that time, referred to an unbelief which regarded the law as merely external, arbitrary, and therefore foreign, far-fetched, so does there now stand in the way an unbelief, which mistakes and regards as an odd and peculiar phenomenon the near Christ, the nearness of Christ, which lies in His affinity to the inmost necessities of the heart.

3. If, at that time, the unbelieving Jew could say, “Who shall bring down the law?”—namely, that which was once neglected and lost;—from above, that means, in the language of the present, “Who shall bring Christ down from above?” although He has come upon the earth, and has here finished His life, and incorporated himself with humanity.

4. If, at that time, the unbelieving Jew said: “Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring the law to us?”—that is, as much as to say from the future world, the lower regions—that question is now: “Who shall bring Christ to us from the dead?” although Christ has risen from the dead, and has sealed His resurrection by the outpouring of His Spirit.

5. But just as, at that time, the essence or word of the law was infinitely near to Israel as an outline of its most personal and inward nature, so is now Christ, or the gospel by Him, still more than the fulfilment and completion of the most inward nature of man to righteousness and salvation. For if the law was already glorious, how shall not the gospel exceed in glory? 2 Cor. 3:7–11.

Speaketh thus [οὕτως λέγει]. The Apostle’s decided intention of finding in the passage in Deuteronomy itself the real sense which he further expounds, is evident; from the fact that he allows the righteousness which is of faith, personified in that passage, itself to speak. The multifarious surprise expressed by expositors on the Apostle’s citation is chiefly traceable to a defective construction of the passage in Deuteronomy. According to Meyer, the meaning of the Mosaic passage is: The commandment is neither too hard nor too far; the people speak of it, and it is impressed in their hearts, in order that it may be performed. De Wette adopts the same view. According to Tholuck, the words would say: The faithful observance of the law is made so easy to man after the revelation that has taken place. But how can Moses say to the people, whose apostasy he hypothetically assumes, in their apostasy: Thy God will again accept thee if thou turn to Him, for thou hast the law in thy mouth and in thy heart—in the sense that the people are still living in the knowledge of the law, that the law is still in their hearts, and that they only need to perform it? The explanation of Romans 10:14 lies rather in Romans 10:15: The law is the true life of man himself; it is his real good. The transgression of the law is death and evil. God can therefore deliver man from the transgression of the law, because the law is as an inalienable appointment in his heart, and because he returns to his God when he comes to himself (Luke 15:17). Because of this inwardness of the law in itself, it can be written upon man’s heart (see Deut. 30:6); it can always revive afresh in him. The law is therefore not merely concealed from, or foreign to, man; it is not simply something positive from heaven, which may again altogether vanish to heaven; and it is no simple promise or threat from the future world, or from the realm of the dead, “from over the sea,” which may be forgotten until death. Rather, it is still with Christ. For undoubtedly the Apostle will not merely say, in Romans 10:8, Faith is so nigh to men, because Christ is preached to them as the One who has become man, and is risen from the dead; but because the truth of Christ’s incarnation and resurrection can unite, in the faith of their heart and in the confession of their mouth, for the completion and salvation of their inmost nature. The typical prophecy of the Mosaic passage, which Paul, the great master, has strikingly brought out, lies in thefact that conversion to the law is the beginning of its hearty reception, but that faith in the gospel is its completion; or, objectively defined, that the law is the shadow of the inward life, and that Christ is the life of this life itself.

On the different misunderstandings of this typical prophecy, see Tholuck, who speaks of a profound parody, p. 557 ff. Explanations: Only an application of the words of the law in the Old Testament (Chrysostom, Theodoret, &c. down to Neander); accommodatio (Thomasius, Semler); ὑπόνοια (Grotius); allusio (Calixtus); suavissima parodia (Bengel, and others).34

The explanations divide themselves into two principal classes. According to one, Paul has made use of the words of Moses for clothing his thoughts, with the knowledge that they, considered in themselves, expressed something altogether different. Philippi calls it “a holy and lovely play of God’s Spirit upon the word of the Lord.” But would not that be a very unlovely play of the Apostle upon the word of the Lord? Likewise Tholuck is of the opinion, that there has been a failure to prove an application corresponding to the meaning of the text, and, still less, the identity of the historical meaning with the Pauline interpretation. Naturally, the constructions of this class are partly of a critical (Semler) and partly of an apologetical nature (Bengel).

The other class accept, that in the declaration of Moses the Apostle has really found the prophecy declared by him. But this again divides into two subdivisions: 1. He was the expositor of that passage in his spiritual illumination as an Apostle; 2. Rather, one intimately acquainted with the rabbinical hermeneutics. Calvin, and others, who belong to the first subdivision, hold that universa doctrina verbi divini is meant; Knapp, the commandment of love toward God; Hackspan, and others, the messianic promise; Luther, who is frequently hesitating, belongs to both of the principal classes (Tholuck, p. 558). The expositors of the other subdivision regard Paul’s interpretation as an allegorical exegesis—that Paul, using the Jewish expository art, has allegorized the passage, and has found in it a Midrash, or secret meaning. Meyer regards the sum of the oracular meaning to be this: “Be not unbelieving, but believing!” A Midrash, indeed, which might well be drawn from every verse of the Bible.

[The majority of commentators adopt the view, that Paul does not cite the words of Moses as such, but merely adapts them to his purpose. But the position of Dr. Lange seems preferable, not only because this “adaptation” or “accommodation” is not what we would expect from such a writer as Paul, but because the other view is more in accordance with the context. As Forbes well says: “St. Paul’s great object in reasoning with his countrymen is to prove to them, out of their own Scriptures, that God’s mode of salvation, from the first, had been always the same (simple faith in Him), and that their Law was but a provisional dispensation, designed to prepare for the universal Gospel, which was to embrace all equally, Gentiles as well as Jews. Is it likely that the arguments adduced to persuade the Jews of this from their own Scriptures would, even in part, be words turned from their true meaning in the Jewish Scriptures?” Romans 10:2 and 3 show how necessary this proof is. This view accords, too, with Romans 10:4, and the real position of the law. Alford: “The Apostle, regarding Christ as the end of the law, its great central aim and object, quotes these words not merely as suiting his purpose, but as bearing, where originally used, an à fortiori application to faith in Him who is the end of the law, and to the commandment to believe in Him, which is now ‘God’s commandment.’ If spoken of the law as a manifestation of God in man’s heart and mouth, much more were they spoken of Him, who is God manifest in the flesh, the end of the law and the prophets.” “In this passage it is Paul’s object not merely to describe the righteousness which is of faith in Christ, but to show it described already in the words of the law.” Thus the connection as well as the contrast of law and gospel are preserved. This view suits the precise circumstances of the original utterance (see Forbes, pp. 356 ff.). That the variation (in Romans 10:7) and the omission of parts of the original, do not interfere with it, is obvious.—R.]

Say not in thine heart [μή εἴπῇς ἐν τῃ καρδίᾳ σου. LXX.: λέγων; Hebrew, לֵאמֹד. The passage is taken out of its grammatical connection, and “in thine heart” added, as might well be done. The phrase is = think not (Alford).—R.] This is the ever-recurring secret or expressed language of the unbeliever: Revelation is something thoroughly heterogeneous and strange to, and in disagreement with, my nature. To the words say not, Paul has added in thine heart, perhaps to bring out the contradiction, that a witness of faith can assert itself in the same heart in which unbelief speaks negatively.

Who shall ascend into heaven? [Τίς ἀναβήσεται εἰς τόν οὐρανόν; The ἡμῖν of the LXX. is omitted.] This formerly meant: It is impossible to bring down from heaven the law (that which we have lost, because it was foreign to us); but it now means: Who shall bring Christ down from heaven, that He may become man? the incarnation of the Son of God is inconceivable. Thus the actual incarnation of Christ is, to Paul, the full consequence of the moral truth of the Mosaic law.

[That is, to bring Christ down, τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Χριστὸν καταγαγεῖν]. The τοῦτ’ ἔστιν lays down the meaning of the Old Testament language in the New Testament sense. On the different explanations of it, see Tholuck, p. 565. [The two leading interpretations are (1) That is to say—i. e., whoever asks this question, says, in effect, Who will bring Christ down? thus he denies that He has come already—makes of the Incarnation an impossibility. (So Erasmus, Calvin, Philippi, and others.) (2) That is, in order to bring Christ down. This gives the purpose of the ascending. In this view, τοῦτ’ ἔστιν is = the rabbinical וְזֶה. This implies also a denial of the Incarnation. See Meyer. In its favor is the fact, that a final clause follows in Deuteronomy. The reference to the present position of Christ at the right hand of God (Calvin, Reiche, and others) is out of keeping with the context,especially the order in Romans 10:9. The passage has been tortured into a variety of special applications, but the majority of commentators now support the reference to the Incarnation, though differing as to the precise character of the questions (see below). It should be noticed, that this view assumes the certainty of the preëxistence of Christ.—R.]

Who shall descend into the deep? [ἤ Τίς καταβήσεται εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσυν; LXX.: τίς διαπεράσει ἡμῖν εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης]. An explanation of the Mosaic passage: Beyond the sea! According to Schulz, (Deuteronomium), Beyond the sea refers only to the vast extent of the sea. This would be tautology in relation to the fore-going. To bring from beyond the sea, can also not mean (according to Vitringa), to bring over from the Greeks. That the sea may be considered as תְּהוֹם, ἄβυσσος, is proved by the harmony of the Septuagint. But תְּהוֹם is not יַם, and over the sea is altogether a different idea from into the deep. The probable solution of the difference is, that the ideas over the ocean and beneath the earth coincide as designations of the realm of the dead. The Greek Tartarus is, indeed, under the earth, but not a real cavern under the earth. The Greek Elysium lies far out in the ocean, on the Isles of the Blessed. Also, in the present passage, Paul has evidently found the realm of the dead to be indicated by the words beyond the sea. Similar notions existed among the Celts and Germans. Meyer dismisses the question in a very untenable manner, when he says: The view of Reiche, Bolten, and Ammon—that the place of the blessed (over the sea) is also meant in the Hebrew—confounds a heathen representation with the Jewish one of Sheol (see Job 26:5, 6).

[Dr. Lange (following Chrysostom, De Wette, Meyer, and others) assumes throughout that these questions are questions of unbelief, although finding in the passage something more than Meyer’s brief statement: “Be not unbelieving, but believing.” Alford gives a full discussion of the three views: questions of unbelief, of embarrassment, of anxiety. He combines all three: The anxious follower after righteousness is not disappointed by an impracticable code, nor mocked by an unintelligible revelation; the word is near him, therefore accessible; plain and simple, and therefore apprehensible—deals with definite historical fact, and therefore certain; so that his salvation is not contingent on an amount of performance which is beyond him, and therefore inaccessible; irrational, and therefore inapprehensible; undefined, and therefore involved in uncertainty. Thus, it seems to me, we satisfy all the conditions of the argument; and thus, also, it is clearly brought out that the words themselves could never have been spoken by Moses of the righteousness which is of the law, but of that which is of faith.” Dr. Hodge does not clearly define which view he adopts, although objecting to the thought, that the object is to encourage an anxious inquirer.—R.] The reference of unbelief to an unbelief in the sitting of Christ at the right hand of God (by Melanchthon, Calvin, and others), removes the centre of the object of faith; this centre is the resurrection.

Romans 10:8. But what saith it? [ἀλλὰ τί λέγει] After the Apostle has shown what the righteousness which is of faith forbids saying, he brings out what it says itself to unbelief. Rückert and Philippi [Hodge and Stuart] have intensified too much the antithesis between Moses and the righteousness of faith; Meyer obliterates it by formally referring even the expression concerning the righteousness of faith to “For Moses writeth.” [The former position is almost inseparable from the view of Romans 10:4, and of the use of Old Testament language, which these commentators hold.—R.]

The word is nigh thee [ἐγγύς σου τὸ ῥῆμά ἐστιν]. The ἐγγύς σου is stronger than if it were ἐγγύς σοι. It is one next to thee, a neighbor, a relative of thine. The opinion of Chrysostom, Grotius, and others [held to some extent by Stuart, Hodge, and others], that this verse is an assurance how easy it is to become righteous, is foreign to the context. We must not suppose that this is an expression of merely the historical acquaintance with Christianity. If this were the case, how could it be said to the doubter and unbeliever: It is in thy mouth and in thy heart? [The Apostle evidently here says, not what is, but what may be, just as Moses had done (Tholuck).—R.] But as the word of life, which, should be peculiarly in the mouth and in the heart, it is attested in a twofold way. First, it is the word of faith,35 which we, the apostles, as God’s heralds and Christ’s witnesses, preach. Second, its effect is, that he who confesses Jesus with the mouth as his Lord, and believes in his heart that He is risen from the dead to a blessed life, shall be saved.

Romans 10:9. Because [ὅτι. The E. V. follows Beza, the Vulgate, &c., in rendering ὅτι, that, indicating the purport of the word preached. Dr. Hodge gives, besides, a view which connects this verse directly with the former part of Romans 10:8: it says that, &c.; but this is opposed by any proper view of the citation from Deuteronomy. The sense, as now generally agreed (Tholuck, Stuart, De Wette, Meyer, Alford), is that of because, or for, giving a proof of what precedes. To mouth and heart correspond confession and belief. This purport of the preaching would scarcely be stated in this form.—R.]

[If thou shalt confess with thy mouth, ἐάν ὁμολογήσῃς ἐν τῷ στόματί σου. Confession is put first here, on account of the connection with the words quoted in Romans 10:8. This is a further proof of the meaning because. In Romans 10:10, belief comes first.—R.]

Jesus as Lord [κύριον Ἰησοῦν. The mass of commentators are disposed to take κύριον as a predicate placed first for emphasis, and render as above. So Tholuck, Stuart, Hodge, De Wette, Meyer, Schaff, Webster and Wilkinson, Noyes, Lange. Alford doubts this interpretation; comp. his note in loco. See Textual Note 9. Hodge: “To confess Christ as Lord, is to acknowledge Him as the Messiah, recognized as such of God, and invested with all the power and prerogatives of the mediatorial throne.” Used in such close connection with a citation from the LXX., which translates Jehovah by the same word κύριος, it certainly means more than an acknowledgment of power and moral excellence; especially as this part of our verse corresponds with the coming down from heaven alluded to in Romans 10:6.—R.] Just as the words “Lord Jesus” correspond with to bring down from heaven, so raised himfrom the dead corresponds with to bring up from the dead.—[Thou shalt be saved, σωθήσῃ. Belief, with the heart, in the central fact of redemption, the resurrection, not as an isolated historical event, but as linked indissolubly with the coming down of the Son of God, now the ascended Lord—and hence confession of Him as such—these are the requisites for salvation. “A dumb faith is no faith” (Olshausen).—R.]

Romans 10:10. The experimental proof of the righteousness which is of faith.

For with the heart faith is exercised unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. The Apostle presents, in this verse, the parallelism with reference to Romans 10:9, and the underlying passage of Deut. 30:14. Yet he now reverses the order of heart and mouth, in harmony with the genesis of the life of faith, especially in the New Testament. As a matter of course, faith and confession are connected with each other, just as the heart and the mouth, or as the heart and speech; that faith without confession, would return to unbelief, but confession without faith would be hypocrisy. However, the distinction is correct: first, faith in the heart, then, confession with the mouth. There is the same distinction of effects. Faith in the heart results in justification; confession with the mouth—that is, the decided standing up for faith with word and deed—results in σωτηρία in its final signification, deliverance from evil to salvation, with the joy and freshness of faith.36 It is natural to man that only that first becomes his complete possession and his perfect joy which he confesses socially with his mouth, and which he maintains by his life. See Tholuck, p. 571, on the apprehension of the early Protestant orthodoxy, that by a distinction of the two parts εἰς δικαιοσύνην and εἰς σωτηρίαν prejudice would be done to the doctrine of justification.37 The doctrine of the righteousness which is of faith has, indeed, been carried to such excess, that it has been regarded as prejudiced by the requirement of the fruits of faith in the final judgment. This reduces it to a dead-letter affair, and is a failure to appreciate the necessary elements in the development of life. The Apostle’s testimony is so decidedly one of experience, that it expresses the permanent force of the law of faith by the passive forms: πιστεύεται, ὁμολογεῖται. This is its custom; thus is the kingdom of heaven taken by force.

Romans 10:11. The testimony of Scripture for the righteousness of faith.

For the Scripture saith (Isa. 28:16). “ΙΙᾶς,” says Meyer, “is neither in the LXX. nor in the Hebrew, but Paul has added it in order to mark the (to him) important feature of universality, which he found in the unlimited ὁ πιστεύων.”38 This is, in meaning, certainly contained in the הַמַּאֲמִין. The weight of the clause lies in the fact that only faith is here desired. The Apostle has very justifiably referred the ἐπ’ αὐτῷ to Christ.

Shall not be put to shame. That is, shall attain to salvation (see Romans 5:5; 9:33).

B. The universality of faith. Romans 10:12, 13: The testimony of Scripture for the universality of faith.

Romans 10:12. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek [οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διατολὴ Ἰουδαίου τε καὶ Ἕλληνος. This rendering is more literal than that of the E. V. See Textual Note11. Greek stands here for Gentile. Comp. Romans 1:18; also in Romans 3:22.—R.] No difference in reference to the freedom of faith; in reference to the possibility and necessity of attaining to salvation by faith. The right of faith is the same to Jews and Gentiles. Proof:

For the same is Lord of all [ὁ γάρ αὐτὸς κύριος πάντων. See Textual Note12.] Strictly speaking, we must suppose a breviloquence also here: One and the same Lord is Lord over all. The one Lord is Christ, according to Origen, Chrysostom, Bengel, Tholuck, and most other expositors (see Romans 10:9). Others refer the expression to God (Grotius, Ammon, Köllner, &c.); Meyer, on the other hand, has good ground for observing that it was first necessary to introduce the Christian character,39 as Olshausen has done (“God in Christ”); see Acts 10:36; Phil. 2:11.

Rich. [Lange: erweisend sich reich.] ΙΙλοντῶν (see Romans 8:32; 11:33; Eph. 1:7; 2:7; 3:8).

Unto all [εἰς πάντας. Alford: toward all; Lange: über Alle; Meyer: für Alle, zum Beston Aller; Olshausen: “By εἰς is signified the direction in winch the stream of grace rushes forth.”—R.] This is both the enlargement and restriction of Christ’s rich proofs of salvation. Only those who call upon him [τοὺς ἐπικαλουμένους], but also all who call upon him, share in His salvation. The calling upon Him is the specific proof of faith, by which they accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.

Romans 10:13. [For every one whosoever, &c., πᾶς γὰρ ὅς, κ.τ.λ.. See Textual Note13. Scriptural proof: Joel 3:5. [LXX. and E. V., 2:32.] Tholuck: “The omission of the exact form of the quotation occurs either in universally known declarations, as in Eph. 5:31, or where the Apostle makes an Old Testament statement the substratum of his own thought, as in Romans 11:34, 35.” Paul has specified the name κύριος in Joel as the name of the God of revelation, in harmony with the messianic passage. [If we accept a reference to Christ in Romans 10:12, we must do the same here, as, indeed, the next verse also requires. Alford well says: “There is hardly a stronger proof, or one more irrefragable by those who deny the Godhead of our Blessed Lord, of the unhesitating application to Himby the Apostle of the name and attributes of Jehovah.”—R.]

Romans 10:14, 15: The realization of the universal righteousness of faith through the universality of preaching and the apostolic mission.

Romans 10:14. How then can they call on him? [πῶς οὖν ἐπικαλέσωνται εἰς, κ.τ.λ.. See Textual Note14, and below.] The proof, clothed in the vivacious form of a question, of the necessity of the universal apostleship and of his preaching, is a sorites. Faith in the Lord precedes calling upon Him (in order to be saved); the hearing of the message of faith precedes faith; but His message presupposes preachers, and preaching presupposes again a corresponding mission. From this it then follows, that the apostolate urges forward the preaching in the name of the Lord, and that unbelief in the apostolic message is disobedience to the Lord himself.40 The view of Grotius and Michaelis, that Romans 10:14 and 15 are a Jewish objection and excuse, complicates the Apostle’s perspicuous train of thought. But Chrysostom and others have correctly observed, that he here establishes the universal apostleship by virtue of the institution of faith, even in respect to the Jews, and to the narrow Jewish Christianity; but, according to Meyer, he does not reach this point until Romans 10:18 ff., where, indeed, he first makes full application of its establishment. Meyer: “Important Codd. have the conjunctive (deliberative) aorist instead of the future, which Lachmann has accepted. But the testimony is by no means decisive. [See Textual Note14. On the future, see Winer, p. 262.—R.] The subjects of those who call are all who are called to salvation, Jews and Gentiles, in the universal sense. [Or, as Alford suggests, “men, represented by the πᾶς ὅς ἅν of Romans 10:13.”—R.] Thus the preachers, in Romans 10:14 and 15, are still indefinite (De Wette, and others, against Meyer).

[How can they believe, &c., πῶς δὲ πιστεύσωσιν οὗκ ἥκουσαν. On the construction of the genitive οὗ, see Meyer; comp. Eurip., Medea, p. 752. Meyer seems scarcely justified in insisting upon the correctness of the Vulgate: quomodo credent ei, quem non audierunt. The E. V. gives the proper meaning.—Without a preacher, χωρὶς κηρύσσοντος . Tittmann, Syn. N. T., p. 93: χωρίς ad subjectum, quod ad objecto sejunctum est, refertur, ἅνευ autem ad objectum, quod a subjecto abesse cogitatur. Dr. Lange may be correct in claiming that the preachers are as yet indefinite, but the beautiful precision of the Greek requires us to find an intimation of the certainty of the universal gospel proclamation. In the first two questions, there is an absolute negative; in the third, χωρίς occurs, implying the probability that one will preach; in the last, we have ἐάν μή, which indicates that, however men may fail to call and hear, those who will preach will certainly be sent forth. This turn of expression seems to have escaped the notice of commentators, but it points directly toward the position the Apostle is establishing: the universality of the means provided by God for the salvation of men, whether they hear or forbear.—R.]

Romans 10:15. [And how shall they preach, except they be Sent? πῶς δὲ κηρύξωσιν ἐάν μὴ ἀποστολῶσιν;] The definite preachers spring first from the divine mission. But the Apostle proves, by Isa. 52:7, that there must be such sent (apostolic) preachers.

As it is written, How beautiful, &c. The Apostle here repeats the prophet’s announcement in an abridged and free manner, but yet in strict conformity with the sense; following the original text more closely than the LXX. According to Meyer, the prophetic passage in question speaks of the happy deliverance from exile, while the Apostle has very properly interpreted it in its messianic character as a prophecy of the gospel preachers of the messianic kingdom. But the full, mysterious messianic import of the prophetic passage extends beyond the meaning of a typical prophecy as verbal prophecy. The beauty of the feet of the messengers of peace is hardly spoken of, because the feet of the one who approaches become visible (Tholuck), but because they, in their running and hastening, in their scaling obstructing mountains, and in their appearance and descent from mountains, are the symbolical phenomena of the earnestly desired winged movement and appearance of the gospel itself. Paul has left out the mountains, and has given the collective singular a plural form, according to the sense; peace has to him the full idea of the gospel salvation; the good things are the rich, displayed, saving blessings which proceed from the one salvation.

Romans 10:16-18: But as the gospel is, on the one hand, naturally free and universal in relation to the antithesis of Jews and Gentiles, so, on the other, it is, according to its inward nature, conditioned by the antithesis of faith and unbelief.

Romans 10:16. But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings [Ἀλλ’ οὐ πάντες ὑπήκουσαν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ. The aorist is historic; during the preaching (Alford). Hence the general reference is to be admitted, especially as the ἀλλά contrasts with the preaching to “all,” the limited result.—R.] Theodore of Mopsvestia and Reiche do violence to the connection in reading these words as a question. Fritzsche holds that they refer to the Gentiles; and Meyer, to the Jews. But they refer chiefly to the difference between believers and unbelievers in general, for there were also unbelievers among the Gentiles; and, above all, the question was the general establishment of the antithesis: believers and unbelievers, and then its application to Jews and Gentiles.

Lord, who believed our report? [Κύριε, τίς ἐπίστευσεν τῇ ἀκοῆ ἡμῶν; An exact quotation from the LXX.] This citation from the prophet Isaiah, Romans 53:1, is mainly a strong proof of this: that the preaching of salvation does not meet with faith on the part of all to whom it is preached, although in this citation the reference to the Jews comes out more definitely. The hyperbolical expression of the prophet means: “Only a few believe.” The entire contents of Isa. 47 prove that here we have not only to deal with a typical prophecy, but also with a verbal one.

On the different interpretations of ἀκοή, see Tholuck, p. 577: “That which is preached,” “to preach what is heard from God.” Meyer: “The preaching which is apprehended;” or, in which the stress rests upon the right apprehension (the words of obedience).—Not all. That is, not all within the reach of preaching (ἀκοήשִׁמוּעָה) preaching (ἀκοή, שִׁמרּעָה). [The word ἀκοή has occasioned much difficulty. For, if rendered report, preaching, here, then it would seem natural to give it the same sense in Romans 10:17. But if this be done, then “word of God” must receive an unusual meaning (see below). Generally the commentators have admitted this meaning here without question, and then in various ways met the subsequent difficulty. Forbes, however, strikes at the root of the matter, and claims that there is no ground for rendering שְׁמרּעָ, report—i.e., what we cause others to hear. His view has been adopted by Hengstenberg, and is the most satisfactory solution yet offered, Ἀκοή, like the Hebrew equivalent, he claims with reason,41 refers to the message viewed from the side of the hearer, not from that of the preacher. The prophet is speaking in the name of his countrymen, as he does throughout the chapter: Who (of us) hath believed that which we heard? (See Forbes, pp. 362 ff.) This view is more literal; it does not disturb in the least the general drift of the argument, while it relieves Romans 10:17 of a great difficulty. In fact, Meyer, Alford, and others, approach this sense, but too indirectly; this is as simple as it is satisfactory.—R.]

Romans 10:17.42 So then faith cometh of hearing [ἄρα ἡ πίστις ἐξ ἀκοῆς]. From the ἀκοή. Explanations: The message preached (Tholuck, Meyer [Hodge, and most]); the act of hearing (Calixtus, Philippi, and others); hearing with faith (Weller, and other Lutheran expositors). As this preaching does not meet with universal faith, only the announcement itself can be meant. [Accepting Forbes’ explanation of ἀκοή in Romans 10:16, we apply it here: Faith comes from what is heard, not the act of hearing—which gives a different sense from Romans 10:16; nor what is preached—which confuses this word and ῥῆμα.—R.]

And hearing through the word of God [ἡ δέ ἀκοὴ διὰ ῥήματος θεοῦ. See Textual Note22on the reading χριστοῦ.] Different explanations of the ρῆμα θεοῦ: 1. God’s revealed word (Tholuck, and others); 2. God’s order, commission (Beza, Meyer [Hodge], and others). The ground: Because otherwise ῥῆμα θεοῦ would not be different from ἀκοή). But strictly speaking, both definitions are indissolubly united in the revealed word with which prophets and apostles were entrusted. The Divine message, as such, is a formal sending, or a commission and a material sending; or, with these, also a preaching. Therefore Tholuck does not appear to be correct, when he says that τὸ ῥῆμα θεοῦ ἐπί τινα denotes not God’s order, but His oracles; Jer. 1:1, &c. Nevertheless, there does exist a difference between this ῥῆμα and the ἀκοή; ἀκοή is every message of salvation to the end of the world; but the ῥῆμα θεοῦ denotes the Divine sources of revelation, on whose effluence the authority and effect of every message depend: The word, and the fact, and the effect in life taken together. Therefore διὰ ῥήματος. [The thing heard is through or by means of the revelation of God. This is the sense, if we adopt the usual meaning of ἀκοή; and, indeed, it gives ῥῆμα a simpler sense. De Wette suggests that ῥῆμα prepares for τὰ ῥήματα in the next verse.—R.]

Romans 10:18. But I say, Did they not hear? [ἀλλὰ λέγω, μὴ οὐκ ἤκουσαν;] The indefinite it [which Dr. Lange supplies] is regarded by Meyer as denoting the ἀκοή; and, according to Tholuck, as that which has heretofore been the subject under consideration; which is sufficient. [All the difficulty about the verb here disappears, if Forbes’ view be accepted. There is no necessity for going back to Romans 10:14, or making the matter indefinite. The Apostle has been speaking of the necessity of hearing, of the thing heard; now he says: did they not hear? The universality of the privilege is affirmed.—R.] Although reference is constantly made to the Jews, the question is nevertheless, principally and formally, concerning unbelievers in general. If unbelievers, as unbelieving people, can excuse themselves by saying that they have not heard God’s message, the most direct answer would be: “Then they would not be unbelievers in the specific sense.” But the Apostle rather brings out the fact of the incipient universal propagation of the gospel, by clothing it in the language of Ps. 19:4, from the LXX.

[Nay, verily, μενοῦνγε. Comp. Romans 9:20. So far from this being the case, their sound went out into all the earth, &c., εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γήν, κ.τ.λ. An exact quotation from the LXX. (Ps. 18:5; Heb. 19:5; Eng., 19:4.—R.] In the Psalm, the question is undoubtedly the universal revelation of God in nature; therefore we cannot regard it as a real prophecy, and as an argument in the usual sense. However, the Apostle seems to clothe his view of the incipient universality of the gospel in those words of the Psalms, because he perceived in the universal revelation of nature the type and guarantee of the future revelation of salvation. Then, his having given to the φθόγγος αὐτῶν43 another reference, also corresponds to this freer application of the passage (there, the sound of God’s works; here, the preacher). [Dr. Lange here follows the mass of commentators (including Stuart, Hodge). But Calvin, Stier, Hengstenberg, Alford, Forbes, regard these words “as possessing a real argumentative force, when interpreted according to their genuine meaning as designed at first by the Psalmist.” Alford urges the fact: “that Ps. 19 is a comparison of the sun, and the glory of the heavens with the word of God.” Calvin: “As He spoke to the Gentiles by the voice of the heavens, He showed by this prelude that He designed to make himself known at length to them also.” Dr. Lange, it is true, approaches this view, yet does not find it in the Psalm, but in the Apostle’s use of it. Was the Apostle likely to convince his countrymen by putting a new meaning on their Scriptures?—R.]

On the gross misconstruction of this passage, that the gospel should extend everywhere, even at Paul’s time, see Meyer [p. 408, 4th ed.]; Tholuck, p. 580. As for the ecstatic salutation of the universality of God’s kingdom, then first appearing, which often occurs in Paul (see Col. 1:23), compare the two statements of Justin Martyr and Tertullian; Tholuck, p. 380. That which appears surprising in the hyperbolical form of the Apostle’s statement of the universal propagation of the gospel, disappears just in proportion as that propagation is regarded not quantitatively, but qualitatively. Jerusalem and Rome were the centres of the ancient world. But, in addition to them, there were many other general centres. The error of expounding the passage in the sense of a quantitative universality could not hold good, even if we admit that the gospel had at that time reached America; the whole of the fifth grand division of the world, as well as all Africa, would also have to come into consideration.

C. The faith of the Gentiles and the unbelief of Israel. Romans 10:19-21: Prophesied already in the Old Testament.

Romans 10:19. But I say, Did Israel not know? [μὴ Ἰσραὴλ οὐκ ἔγνω;] The Apostle now passes over to the long-prepared antithesis of unbelieving Israel and of the believing Gentiles. But yet, in his representation of this fearful inversion (which stirred up unbelieving Judaism) of the old theocratic relation—according to which the Jews were God’s people, and the Gentiles were given up to themselves—he has recourse to the witnesses of the Old Testament respecting the beginning and prospect of this inversion. After the first question: “Have unbelievers not heard the gospel?” there follows the second: “Did not Israel know it?” We may now ask: What is referred to? Explanations:

1. That the gospel should pass from the Gentiles to the Jews (Thomas Aquinas, Calovius, Tholuck [Stuart, Hodge, Jowett], and others). But that threat was only conditionally uttered, and is not contained in the foregoing.

2. The gospel (Chrysostom, and others). [Here must be classed Calvin and Beza, who supply: the truth of God; Philippi and Forbes: the word or message of God (from Romans 10:17). The last named defend their view, from the emphasis which seems to rest on Israel (in the correct reading), and from the parallelism with Romans 10:18. Meyer opposes, with reason, the μὴ-οὐκ, which anticipates an affirmative answer; nor is this objection met, by saying that an affirmative might be expected, that Israel ought to have known the gospel. Paul knew too sadly that the reverse was the fact.—R.]

3. That the gospel should become universal, according to the preceding language of the Psalm (Fritzsche, De Wette [Alford], Meyer).44 Meyer places Tholuck also in this category. Tholuck, however, now declares for (1), as follows: “But yet the following prophetic declarations do not contain so much the universality of preaching, as explanations of the inverted relation which God will assume toward Gentiles and Jews.”

At all events, the citation immediately following is not simply a proof of the universality of the gospel. But it only follows therefrom, that a new statement is made with the proof. This also holds good of the last quotation. The progress is as follows: a. Universality; Ps. 19. b. The faith of the Gentiles for the awakening of the faith of the Jews; Deut. 32:21. c. The faith of the Gentiles; Isa. 65:1. d. The unbelief of the Jews; Isa. 65:2. Therefore we regard the explanation of Fritzsche, &c., as correct, and all the more striking, as the fulfilment of this very ancient prospect just now became an offence to Israel.—Proof:

First Moses saith [πρῶτος Μωυσῆς λέγει. First, “in the order of the prophetic roll” (Alford), with reference to Isaiah, as one among the many who spoke afterward to the same effect. Wetstein, Storr, Flatt, join πρῶτος with οὐκ ἔγνω, but on insufficient grounds.—R.] The future universality of the Abrahamic blessing had been declared earlier, but it was Moses who first declared that there should be no difference between Jews and Gentiles before God’s righteousness; indeed, that possibly the Gentiles, in their good conduct, might be preferred to the Jews in their bad conduct. Thus the same Moses who communicated to Israel its economic advantages over the Gentiles, was he who had set up the rule of faith by which this relation could possibly be inverted in the future.

I will provoke you to jealousy [Ἐγὼ παραζηλώσω ὑμᾶς. The only variation from the LXX. (which closely follows the Hebrew) is the substitution of ὑμᾶς, in each clause, for αὐτούς.—R.] Thus Moses speaks to Israel in the name of the Lord; Deut. 32:21.

With those who are no people [ἐπ’ οὐκ ἔθνει. The precise force of the preposition is with difficulty conveyed by any English word. It is not = against, although that is implied; nor = by means of, but rather, on account of. With expresses the weaker shade of instrumental force sufficiently well, but the real sense is: aroused on account of and directed toward a no-people.—R.] בְּלֹא עַם. The Gentile nations were not recognized as true nations in the idea of the people, because they were devoid of that religious and moral principle which transforms nature into a moral nationality; see Romans 9:25; 1 Peter 2:10. גֹּדי, from גָּוָה, denotes, strictly speaking, the increasing mass of natural human beings; עַם, from עָמַם, a connection, assembly, community. [The words people, nation, are used in the E. V. to preserve the distinction between the Hebrew words. Despite the fact that the LXX. has used the same word to render both, it has not been overlooked in the E. V. in this passage.—R.] The explanation of the “no-people” (the οὐκ denies the idea contained in a nomen connected with it), is found in the following parallel:

By a foolish nation [ἐπὶ ἔθνει ἀσυνέτῳ].45 The religious and moral folly of the Gentile consisted in his not seeking God’s signs with resignation; for which reason they also could not seek Him. Paul, with good ground, sees in the thoroughly prophetic song of Moses, which looked far beyond Israel’s history in the wilderness and its relation to the Canaanites (Deut. 22:43), a typical, and still more than a typical prophecy, which should be fulfilled in many ways in preludes, and which has finally been fulfilled in the almost complete changes of the relation between Israel and the Gentiles in relation to the gospel. In Romans 10:21, neither Israel’s idolatry in the wilderness, nor the Canaanite people, is meant alone. On the different untenable explanations, including those of Philippi, see Tholuck, p. 583 [given above].

Romans 10:20. But Isaiah is very bold, and saith [Ἡσαΐας δὲ ἀποτολμᾷ καὶ λέγει. Lange: But Isaiah even ventures to say; which is the spirit of the Greek. Bengel: Quod Moses innuerat, Esaias audacter et plane eloquitur.—R.]. The Apostle regarded it as great boldness in Isaiah to say the words of Romans 65:1 and 2 in the hearing of the Jews, as the first verse, according to his explanation, expressed mercy to the Gentiles, and the second the hardness and apostasy of the Jews.

[I was found by those who sought me not, Εὑρέθην τοῖς ἐμὲ μὴ ζητοῦσιν, κ.τ.λ.. See Textual Note24, for the text of the Hebrew original and the LXX., to the former of which Dr. Lange refers so frequently. The Apostle has transposed the clauses.—R.] The question is now raised first of all by the later exegesis, whether Paul’s explanation of Isaiah’s passage is correct? Meyer says: “In its strict sense, Isa. 65:1 (freely from the Septuagint, and with an inversion of both the parallel members) treats of the Jews; but in a typical sense, which Paul clearly perceives in it, they are types of the Gentiles,” &c. But in this case, Paul would have made an exegesis without any evidence, and would have exposed himself to the legitimate contradiction and censure of the Jews. Tholuck also remarks, that if the Apostle, in Romans 10:1, referred directly to the Gentiles, his application would have to be regarded as having missed its object. In the first place, namely, Tholuck says that rabbinical expositors (Jarchi, &c.) have “simply and satisfactorily” explained Romans 10:1 and 2 as relating to the same subjects. He further says: “Independently of these rabbinical predecessors, the same explanation has been adopted by Gesenius, Ewald, Hitzig, and Umbreit, which last writer translates: I was to be inquired of.” There is just ground for disapproving of Luther’s confidence in inserting in Romans 10:20: to the Gentiles, and in beginning Romans 10:21 with a for—for I speak, &c. Yet the exegetical authorities cited are utterly refuted, not only by Paul’s authority—although we cannot even admit that in one of his last sword-thrusts he has made not merely a random stroke, but even wounded himself—but also by the connection of the whole of Isaiah’s passage, Romans 63:7–66:1. The antitheses in general between the strongly Old Testament Jewish prayer in Romans 63:7 ff., and the prophetical New Testament answer of God in chaps. 15. and 16., are first to be considered. It is said that the prayer is undoubtedly designed to express Israel’s state of mind; that it contains angry and passionate elements; and that the Lord must so reveal himself that the Gentiles will tremble at His name (Romans 10:17; Romans 66:1). The prayer is a conflict between the profoundest contrition and the most painful dejection, and it dies away in a question which sounds like a reproach. The Lord now answers, it is said, in the cold reproach: “I was to be sought.” And this is claimed to be the simplest rendering of נִדְרַשְׁתִּיּ. But what does the Lord answer in relation to the people of Israel, and in relation to the Gentiles? In Romans 64:8 ff. we read: “Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter,” &c. Finally: “O Lord, wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?” Compare here the answer in Romans 65:2, and further. In Romans 10:8 the familiar thought again recurs to the prophet: A remnant of the people will be saved; from Romans 10:18 onward he explains by a grand antithesis. From this antithesis there then arises the description of the new Israel, which was to be called by another name (Romans 10:15). On the Gentiles, see Romans 66:12, 18, 19, 21. But the antitheses between chap. 65., Romans 10:1 and 2, come still more into consideration. In Romans 10:1 we read, אֶל־גֹּוי; in Romans 10:2, אֶל־עַם. The גוֹי , in Romans 10:1, is לא̇־קֹרָא בָשׁמִי, which could not very well denote the Israelites, whether the people be considered passive or active (see Tholuck, p. 586), as the question in both cases is the official form of their religion; עַם, on the other hand, in Romans 10:2, is designated as סוֹרֵר; it is a people pledged to the Lord, but is now an apostate people. The antithesis is still stronger, that the Lord is now a subject of search on the part of a people (Goi) which had never inquired after Him; that He is found by those who did not seek Him, and must merely be found with the words הִנֵּנִי הּנֵּנִי, while He had to spread out His hands in vain the whole day to a rebellious people. In Romans 10:1, a people is spoken of which now not only inquires after the Lord, but even searches after Him; but, in Romans 10:2, it is a people which has so fully turned away from Him, that He seeks it the whole day in vain. Thus the פֵּרַשְׂתִּי, in Romans 10:2, rather than נִדְרַשְׁתִּי at the beginning, must be read as a strengthened preterite. The Lord answers the question, whether He would afflict very sorely, by referring to His compassion to the Gentiles (Jerome). Then He explains, in Romans 10:2, how this turning from them has occurred. “I have spread out my hands” (in vain), &c. The exegetical abridgment of this last chapter is connected with an abridgment of the whole of the second part of Isaiah. Tholuck, not satisfied with the defence of the older interpretation of this passage by Hengstenberg, Hofmann, and Stier, takes a middle position between Paul and the expositors cited, by remarking “that the prophet did not speak, in Romans 10:1, of the Gentiles, and yet that Paul did speak, in Romans 10:2, of the Jews.” But what would the ἀποτολμᾷ then mean? Paul could, indeed, have good ground for not naming the Gentiles, because a consequent exclusion of the chosen substance of Israel could have been inferred. Stier’s explanation is therefore so far correct as it holds that, in Romans 10:1, Israel is added, yet not after its first call, but after its dissolution into the “no-people” of the Gentile world.46 [There is no other view of the passage, except that which refers it, as originally used, to the Gentiles, that consists with Paul’s prudence as a reasoner, much less with his apostolic authority and inspiration. To the argument of Dr. Lange nothing need be added.—R.]

Romans 10:21. But of Israel [πρὸς δέ τὸν Ἰσραήλ]. Erasmus, adversus; De Wette, [Philippi, Alford (Meyer, an)], and others, with respect to Israel; Vulgate and Rückert, to Israel. We adopt with respect to, since the prophet had already made the foregoing declaration to Israel.

He saith [λέγει]. Namely, Isaiah, in the name of God.—[All day long I stretched forth my hands, “Ολην τὴν ἡμέραν ἐξεπέτασα τάς χεῖράς μου.] The spreading out of the hands, say Tholuck, is not (as Fritzsche would have it) the gestus of the one inviting to his embrace,47 but, according to Chrysostom, the gestus of the suppliant. Between the two meanings of this gestus there lies also a third; and, after all, one does not preclude the other. The principal idea is the gestus of gracious, importunate, and expressed admonition, of entreaty, compassionate sympathy, and continuous appeal.

And gainsaying [και ἀντιλέγοντα]. Meyer holds, contrary to Grotius, and most expositors, that the ἀντιλέγ. must not be understood as stubborn, but contradictory. But contradiction, in the sphere of religion, is the decisive expression of opposition. [Philippi thinks this added attributive expresses the positive side of disobedience; the other, ἀπειθοῦντα, the negative. If so, both were necessary to convey the full meaning of the Hebrew word used by the prophet. “They say to God, offering them salvation: we will not.”—R.]


1. The intercession of the believer a sign of hope and salvation to those for whom it is made.

2. The bright and dark sides of religious zeal. If it be not purified by progressive, living knowledge, it becomes peverted into the carnal zeal of fanaticism. On the first appearance of Jewish fanaticism, see the Commentary on Genesis [p. 564, Amer. ed.].

3. Self-righteousness has many forms. The starting-point is the effort for the righteousness of the law, not as it is attained inwardly by simplicity and humility, but as it, by self-complacency and impurity, falls into externality. In this direction the righteousness of the law becomes the righteousness of works; and from this there results self-righteousness, which branches out into many forms—into the ecclesiastical and political form of confessional and partisan righteousness; into the ecclesiastical and scholastic form of doctrinal righteousness (orthodoxism); into the worldly form of moral righteousness; into the pietistic form of righteousness of feeling; and into the philosophical and brutal forms of the denial of all personal guilt. In all forms it inverts the relation between God and man—between the Creator and the creature—between God’s sovereignty and man’s own will—between God’s law and the self-made service and law—between grace and works—and between the ground of life and the most outward false show. Its real want is the want of the heart’s upward look at the throne of God’s eternal majesty; and this want is also the first guilt; the positive ruin connected therewith is the baseness of the mind’s look at things below; the lost state of the mind’s look in the abject beholding of self. But as this self-righteousness is so thoroughly selfish that it misunderstands and scorns the proffer of God’s freely-given righteousness, the gospel of grace, so is it likewise selfish in connecting itself inseparably with fanaticism.

4. Christ is the end of the law, because He is the fulfilment of the law; therefore He is, on one side, the end where the law is changed into the collective principle of the new birth; and, on the other, He is the end in which it lays off its eternal Old Testament form and meaning; just as ripe fruit becomes freed from its bondage in the husk. See Exeg. Notes.

5. Romans 10:5. The doctrine of eternal life has developed itself embryonically by stages: In this life, God’s blessing, God’s glorious deliverance from the manifold danger of death, and, in the future, the peaceful slumber of those delivered from beds of earthly suffering, their celebration of the marriage-supper of the Lamb, and their safety in Abraham’s bosom, &c. This development, just as every biblical doctrine, has taken place in organic conformity to the law. According to Tholuck, p. 557, the eschatology of the Jews of Palestine at the time of Christ had already attained to the idea of eternal life. Yet they hardly attained to the idea of eternal life in the Christian sense. [It must ever be remembered that the ideas, immortality and eternal life, are not identical. Ζωή has a new meaning in the New Testament. Comp. the thoughtful remarks of Trench, Syn. N. T., § xxvii.—R.]

6. The righteousness of faith speaks even in Moses, if Moses be properly understood and explained. [Comp. Exeg. Notes on Romans 10:7–9.—R.]

7. The truth of the inward essence of the law, like that of the gospel, and therefore the truth of the whole saving revelation of God, is based on its inward character—on its inward union with the most inward nature of man. Its impregnability and incorruptibility also rest upon the same basis. Just as man must return from all by-ways (for his salvation or for his judgment) to the idea of God, so also must he return to the idea of the God-man, of guilt, the atonement, deliverance, the new birth, and the new and eternal life. The objection urged against revelation, and especially against Christianity, that this religion beclouds the earthly life by an exclusive representation of heaven, and the present by an exclusive assertion of the future, the realm of the dead, and duration after death, is removed by a passage which the Apostle cites and elaborates from Deuteronomy. Christ is on the earth in so far as He has become inseparably incorporated with it by His historical presence and union with humanity; and He is just as much in this life, and present in His judgments and bestowals of salvation, as He is in the eternal world, as the future Finisher of all things.

8. Faith and confession; see Exeg. Notes. The delivering power of confession. Because it: 1. makes inward faith irrevocable; 2. Breaks loose from unbelief; 3. Unites with believers, becomes flesh and blood, and, in a good sense, acquires worldly form, worldly power, and the power of manifestation; 4. Pledges itself to full consistency in word and deed, life and death. Christians have had good ground for holding martyrdom in such high honor. But if martyrdom can be exaggerated and overvalued, how much more can a confessional righteousness be overvalued, which seeks its protection and peace under the shadow of formulas!

9. The centre of faith and the centre of confession; see Romans 10:9. The centre of faith is Christ’s resurrection, with all that it comprises; the centre of confession is Jesus as the Lord, and therefore not “the Christianity of Christ,” but the Christ of Christianity. [Hence the Apostle does not say: If thou shalt confess with thy mouth my doctrine, and believe in thine heart in justification by faith, thou shalt be saved; yet how often he is represented as saying this, and no more. The living Christ is not in such a gospel.—R.]

10. With the complete freedom of revelation and of God’s people there has also come the full protection of faith against unbelief.

11. The riches of the Lord to a praying human world.

12. The order of the gospel message. Its necessity, its promise, its authority, its condition (the Divine mission; direct or indirect). See the interesting statements which Tholuck makes, p. 580 ff., on the assertion of the Lutheran theologians of the seventeenth century, as well as of their latest companions in adherence to the letter, that this text (and the article of the general call) forces us to accept the position that the gospel had been preached in all the world at Paul’s time.

13. We must be careful to distinguish, that the question here is the necessity of the official bearers or messengers of God’s word, but not of them exclusively. Or, more strictly speaking, the sending has two sides, and does not consist simply in official arrangements and forms. [This is even more apparent, if we understand Romans 10:17 to refer to what is heard, rather than what is preached, and then consider how the Apostle proves from an Old Testament description of the voice of God in nature (Romans 10:18), the universality of this privilege.—R.]

14. The feet of the messengers on the mountains, or the beauty of the progressive course of the gospel.

15. Unbelief in the gospel is disobedience, specific disobedience and rage; Ps. 2. The more grossly and roughly human nature is apprehended, the more external become the ideas of obedience and disobedience; the more profoundly, purely, and inwardly they are viewed, the more profoundly, purely, and inwardly is this antithesis defined; and, finally and fundamentally, faith in God’s word is specific obedience, while unbelief is specific disobedience, specific rebellion. [The LXX. form of Isa. 65:2 (Romans 10:21), by dividing the idea of rebellion into disobedience and gainsaying, only recognizes the connection between refusing God’s commands and contradicting His words: disobedience and unbelief, acting and reacting upon each other continually.—R.]

16. The prudent advance of the Apostle in his judgment, that Israel has changed its part with the Gentiles by its unbelief, and has become an apostate people, is here a characteristic of his masterly apostolic wisdom of instruction, as well as of his apostolic heart, as, with a shudder of inmost sorrow, he gradually draws aside the curtain from the ghastly picture of Israel. The argument from the Old Testament is in conformity with the law that every apology must be discussed from the acknowledged sources, statements, or principles of the opponent, and that its possibility ceases where there cease to be positions in common.


a. Romans 10:1, 2. The benevolent disposition of the Apostle toward Israel. It is clear: 1. From his wish and prayer that they might be saved; 2. From his record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.—A zeal for God is good, but it should not exist without knowledge (Romans 10:2).—How often ignorant zeal occurs: 1. In domestic; 2. In civil; and 3. In ecclesiastical affairs; and, unfortunately, it occurs most frequently in the last (Romans 10:2).—The folly of ignorant zeal. It is foolish: 1. In regard to its starting-point; 2. Its end; 3. The choice of means (ver 2).—Wise and ignorant zeal.

STARKE: Oh, how can men so transgress as to be led by a blind religious zeal to oppose the dearest truths of the gospel by an imaginary defence of orthodoxy; and thus hate, calumniate, and reproach Christ in His members, and always think, with those ancient enemies, that, by so doing, they do God service (John 16:2).—HEDINGER: The zeal of the Jews crucified Christ.

SPENER: All the persecutions which have been, and still will be inflicted on pious Christians, are committed by those who do not know the truth and doctrine of godliness; who regard others who are attached to it as false and wicked people; and who think that they render God a service when they persecute them (John 16:2); but yet, by this very means, they thrust themselves into God’s judgment, and are not at all excused for their error (Romans 10:2).

HEUBNER: What is blind zeal in religious matters? Whence does it come? If it be wholly unclean, it is self-love, selfishness; if it be merely joined with perverse measures, then it arises from a weakness of understanding, and, in that case, has also a mixture of egotism! True zeal is pure and clear.—Compare Paul’s early Jewish and later Christian zeal.

BESSER: When Paul cherishes, and expresses in praying to God, the hearty wish that they who have stumbled against the stone of offence may yet be saved, he certainly has no knowledge of any absolute decree of condemnation on any man, not even on the most stiff-necked Jews (Romans 10:1).—One of our older teachers laments: “The Jews had, and still have, a zeal without knowledge; but we, alas, have an understanding without zeal” (Romans 10:2).

b. Romans 10:3. Our own righteousness, and righteousness which is of God (Luke 18:9–14). 1. The former is proud, and leads to humiliation; 2. The latter, on the contrary, is humble, and leads to exaltation.

STARKE, LANGE: No persons are farther from God’s kingdom, and more difficult to be converted, than those who, when they hear of the method of salvation, have so much of their own righteousness as to think that they have long conformed to it.

HEUBNER: They are therefore devoid of an humble recognition of their unworthiness before God; they would themselves be something, and carry weight. Where this pride and fancy exist, there is always blindness.

c. Romans 10:4-11. The righteousnesss which is of faith is: 1. A righteousness in Christ, who is the end of the law; 2. And therefore can be obtained only by faith in Him (Romans 10:4–11).—The unbeliever asserts that Christ is far from and unapproachable by man; but the believer, on the contrary, knows that He is near us by the word of faith (Romans 10:5–9).—In order to avoid believing, men make use of empty evasions (Romans 10:5–9).—As the law was near to Israel, so is the gospel near to us: 1. In the mouth; 2. In the heart (Romans 10:8).—What do we preach? 1. Not a remote, and therefore incomprehensible word; but, 2. A near, and therefore a very easily understood word (Romans 10:8).—The conditions of salvation: 1. The confession of the mouth that Jesus is the Lord; 2. The belief in the heart that God has raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9–11).—The inward interdependence of confession and faith: 1 There is no true confession of the mouth without faith in the heart; 2. But there is also no living faith of the heart without the confession of the mouth (Romans 10:9–11).—Faith in the heart must ever precede the confession of the mouth; which, unfortunately, is not always the case, and therefore so much is said of confession, and so little is inwardly believed (Romans 10:9–11).—The great confession of the Christian Church, as expressed: 1. In the apostolic confession of faith; 2. In the hymns of the church; 3. In its prayers; 4. In its celebration of the Lord’s Supper (Romans 10:10).—The confessors of the Christian Church: 1. In the beginning (the time of the first persecutions); 2. In the period of the Reformation; 3. At the present time (the martyrs in Madagascar, on the South Sea Islands, in Borneo, Syria, &c.; Romans 10:10).

LUTHER: He who does not believe that Christ has died, and risen, in order to make us righteous from our sins, says: “Who shall ascend into heaven, and who shall descend into the deep?” But this is done by those who would be justified by works, and not by faith, when they speak thus with the mouth, but not in the heart. Emphasis est in verbo: in the heart.

STARKE: Christ is the essence of the Old Testament Scriptures also; he little understands them who does not find Christ in them. The entire life of the saints of the Old Testament is a prophecy of Christ; John 5:46 (Romans 10:5).—Say not, “Who has been among the dead, and has returned again, and has told us of the condition of the dead?” Stand by the gospel truth, and you will be righteous and saved; Luke 16:31 (Romans 10:7).—Be comforted, troubled soul; though you do not have the joy of faith just in the hour of temptation, you will nevertheless be saved, so long as you depend on Christ; for God, who does not lie, has often given you the assurance that you shall be saved (Romans 10:11).—CRAMER: The mouth and the heart cannot be separated; Ps. 116:10 (Romans 10:9).—Faith must not grow on the tongue, but in the heart; Acts 15:9 (Romans 10:10).—HEDINGER: The heart without the mouth is timidity; the mouth without the heart is hypocrisy (Romans 10:10).

SPENER: We read that the word is nigh us, namely, that it is declared to us; that we have it in the heart—where the Holy Spirit has impressed it; and in the mouth, by which we declare it. Therefore, it is not something concealed in heaven, or in the deep, but we have it with us, and in us. Verily, we may say that the word means not only the word itself, but also the blessings which that word presents—Christ, with all His gospel treasures. Christ’s merit, grace, Spirit, and life are not far from us, and cannot first be brought down from heaven, or brought up from the deep; they are not first to be acquired, but are nigh us, and, if we will accept them, in the mouth and in the heart. Thus, though the language of the Old Testament was not on this wise, since the knowledge of grace was of a less degree, more obscure, and more difficult to be obtained, yet it is now very near to us, for it is imparted by the greater and stronger measure of grace which is now declared to us (Romans 10:8).

GERLACH: Christ is in so far the end of the law as He, 1. Is its final object, the one to whom it leads (Gal. 3:24); 2. Is its fulfilment (Matt. 5:17); 3. Puts an end to the dominion of the law (Luke 16:16) (Romans 10:4).—To become acquainted with God’s’ gracious counsel, to deprive death of its power by the manifestation of a divine and holy life in the flesh—which the carnal man was incapable of, since he knew nothing except the righteousness which is of the law—can be effected by the righteousness which is of faith, which establishes him in Christ’s right, and freely gives him as his own what the Son of God is and has. The heart need only believe, and the mouth only confess, in order to be righteous and saved (Romans 10:8–11).

LISCO: The Divine order of salvation is, therefore: Justification succeeds faith, God’s assistance is obtained, and he who courageously and perseveringly confesses his faith, obtains salvation (Romans 10:10).—HEUBNER: Righteousness is introduced as speaking; and is regarded as proffering itself. No superhuman knowledge, or profound learning, or ascending to heaven to see Christ, is necessary to convince us of Christ’s resurrection and His sitting at God’s right hand; neither is it necessary to descend into the kingdom of the dead, to ask whether Christ is with the dead, or risen? In short, no view of the history of Jesus Christ himself, and no laborious and learned research, are necessary for us to believe. Faith is an affair of the heart. No one can, therefore, excuse his unbelief on the ground of the difficulty or impossibility of faith (Romans 10:6, 7).—Paul brings out prominently the faith of the heart against hypocrites and lip-Christians; and against the fainthearted and desponding confession—that is, the expression, the demonstration of Christianity by word and deed (Romans 10:9–11).

BESSER: Faith and confession are related to each other as essence and manifestation, as light and rays, as fire and flame. … Salvation is the manifestation, the present and finite revelation of righteousness; and righteousness is salvation under cover, though the covering is transparent and fragrant, just as Christ is concealed in prophecy, and the enduring tabernacle of God in the Church on earth (Romans 10:10).

d. Romans 10:12-17. The gospel as a saving message for all, Jews as well as Greeks: 1. It is preached to all; but, 2. It is not believed by all (Romans 10:12–17).—There is no difference in nations before the one Lord, who is rich unto all that call upon Him; but whosoever calleth upon Him shall be saved (Romans 10:12, 13).—How the calling upon the true God—who is perfectly revealed in Christ—and faith and preaching, are connected (Romans 10:13–16).—“Lord, who hath believed our report?” Thus Isaiah once lamented, and thus we, too, lament frequently; but we can only do it when we are conscious that we have performed our ministerial duty to the best of our knowledge and conscience; that is, if our sermons have proceeded: 1. From thoroughly searching into the Holy Scriptures; 2. From hearty prayer; 3. From a full acquaintance with the necessities of our congregations (Romans 10:16).—Christian preaching: 1. What does it effect? Faith. 2. By what means does it come? By the word of God (Romans 10:17).—Preaching stands midway between faith and God’s word. 1. It produces the former; 2. It draws its supplies from the latter (Romans 10:17).—The appealing power of preaching (Romans 10:17).

STARKE: All kinds of people can have free access to God, and so pray that their petitions may be answered (Romans 10:12).—HEDINGER: Oh, if a man would be saved, how much depends on hearing, teaching, and calling! A beautiful chain; but what is wanting in it? Hearing is defective; proper and thorough preaching is wanting; and many thousands are needed for preaching. Dreadful harm thereby ensues, &c. (Romans 10:14).—CRAMER: The world ever remains the same—as in Isaiah’s day, so at the time of Christ and the Apostles, and even at this very hour. What a pity that the old lamentation must still be repeated! (Romans 10:16.)—LANGE: Preacher, see that your discourses be delivered in simplicity and Divine power; and hearer, see that your attention is of the right kind (Romans 10:17).

SPENER: 1. They must call upon Christ if they would be saved; 2. But if they would call upon Him; they must believe on Him; 3. If they would believe on Him, they must hear His word; 4. But if they would hear His word, it must be preached to them; 5. But if they would have preachers, people must be sent to them for that purpose. These are the successive links in the chain of Divine beneficence (Romans 10:14).—Roos: Here, as was always the case with the Apostle in his charges against the Jews, he cites passages from the Old Testament Scriptures; the first of which is Isa. 28:16, where the “making waste” has the same force as “being ashamed.” … The second passage is in Joel 2:32, and comes down lowest to the weakness of men. Our advice to the greatest sinner who stands on the brink of hell is: “Call upon the name of the Lord, and thou shalt be saved.” … The third passage is in Isa. 52:7, and is a prophecy of the friendly and beautiful heralds whom the Lord, having previously spoken himself, would send out at the time of the New Testament, in order to preach peace and good-will to men. But why? Undoubtedly in order that men might lay hold of the peace declared to them, and appropriate and enjoy God’s good-will toward them. But because this should take place by faith, these heralds lament, in the fourth passage, Isa. 53:1: “Lord, who hath believed our report?” (Romans 10:11–16.)—BENGEL: Any man is worth more than the whole world.

GERLACH: God wills the salvation of all, but all do not wish the salvation of God; unbelief is the cause of the ruin of all who are lost (Romans 10:16).—It is God’s will that all should believe; and for this reason He has sent preaching, whose import is His own word (Romans 10:17).

LISCO: It is Christian duty to send teachers to the heathen world; missions are necessary, and according to the Lord’s will (Mark 16:15); and it is a glorious calling, to declare the message of Jesus, deliverance of the captives, and the new kingdom of God.—Preaching takes place by God’s word; that is, by virtue of the Divine call and a doctrine revealed by God (Romans 10:17).

HEUBNER: Living preaching is God’s chosen means of instruction (Romans 10:14).—God must send preachers; they cannot go of themselves (Romans 10:15).—All the effects of grace are connected with the word; this applies to fanatics, enthusiasts, and those who despise the word and preaching (Romans 10:17).

BESSER: The Divine order of salvation admits of no personal or national distinction (Romans 10:12).—The help of the rich Lord, as He passes by, is invited by calling upon Him, though it be not with strong faith, yet with a hearty desire to believe; by calling upon Him, though we do not pray as we ought, yet are supported by the unutterable groans of the Spirit (Romans 8:26); by calling upon Him, if not with advanced knowledge, yet with the loud confession of Bartimeus: “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47) (Romans 10:12.)—BENGEL. says: “He who desires the end, will also contribute the means. God desires that all men call upon Him for salvation.; therefore He wishes them to believe; therefore, to hear; and, therefore, to have preachers. Hence He has sent preachers. He has done every thing necessary for our salvation. His antecedent gracious will is universal, and is clothed with energetic power” (Romans 10:14).—It is not only necessary for the real preacher in God’s name that the word preached be real, but also that the preacher say: “Here is the staff in my hand; the Lord has sent me” (Romans 10:15).

e. Romans 10:18-21. The relation of the Jews and Gentiles to the preaching of the gospel: 1. The former did not wish to understand the gospel, although they could understand it; 2. But the latter, although they Were ignorant, have understood it, because they wished to do so.—The conclusion of the whole chapter: The Jews are themselves guilty of their wretched fate, which took such a lively hold upon the Apostle’s sympathy. For, A. The gospel was: 1. Not far from them; 2. It was preached to them; 3. They could lay hold of it; but, B. Theythe Jews—sought it; 1. Far off; 2. Did not like to hear it; 3. Would not understand it.

STARKE: Who will blame God that so many people remain children of Satan, and are condemned? Behold, they are themselves the cause (Romans 10:21).—Roos, with reference to chaps. 9. and 10.: From all this it is plain that the word grace is the most comforting and most severe, the clearest and the darkest word in the Bible. It is the most comforting word, because it assures salvation to the creature (to whom his Creator is in nowise indebted), the sinner who deserves punishment. It is also the most severe word, because it utterly prostrates pride, slays defiance, and completely destroys the notion of self-righteousness, which is so natural to man. It is the clearest word, because it needs no description; but it is also the darkest word, because its simple meaning is understood by only a few humble souls. Many men, who think that they understand this word, conceive God’s grace very much as a prince’s favor, which always has regard to service, and is never disconnected from utility. But God needs no service. His will alone is free. No one can recompense Him. And yet He is righteous, and acts according to knowledge. Whoso is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them?

HEUBNER, on Ps. 19: The gospel and creation are God’s two voices that reëcho about us.

BESSER: Quotation of an expression of Luther, who compares preaching to a stone thrown into the water. The circles ever enlarge, but the water in the middle is still.

LANGE: The intercession of Paul, who was persecuted by the Jews, for Israel.—His witness for Israel: 1. High praise; 2. Great censure.—The different forms of self-righteousness.—Self-righteousness is always opposed to God’s righteousness, which is: 1. Legislative; 2. Penal; 3. Merciful, justifying; 4. Awakening to new life.—The self-testimony of the law and the gospel to the inward nature of man: 1. The law, the ideal of his life; 2. The gospel, the life of his ideal.—The twin form, faith, and confession: 1. Is positively different; yet, 2. Inseparable.—The riches of the Lord to praying hearts—to the praying, sinful world.—The universality of the gospel.—The freedom and limitation of the message of salvation: 1. It is free to all in the world who call upon the Lord; 2. It is confined to faith, because unbelief contradicts it.

[BURKITT (condensed): Christ is the end of the law: 1. As He is the scope of it; 2. As He is the accomplishment of it; 3. As He is to the believer what the law would have been to him if he could have perfectly kept it—namely, righteousness and life, justification and salvation.—The natural man is a proud man; he likes to live upon his own stock he cannot stoop to a sincere and universal renunciation of his own righteousness, and to depend wholly upon the righteousness of another. It is natural to a man to choose rather to eat a brown crust, or wear a coarse garment, which he can call his own, than to feed upon the richest dainties, or wear the costliest robes, which he must receive as an alms from another.—DODDRIDGE: Let us rejoice in the spread which the gospel has already had, and let us earnestly and daily pray that the voices of those Divine messengers that proclaim it may go forth unto all the earth, and their words reach, in a literal sense, to the remotest ends of the globe.—Lord, give us any plague rather than the plague of the heart!—SCOTT: Ministers who are faithful bear the most affectionate good-will to those from whom they receive the greatest injuries; and they offer fervent and persevering prayers for the salvation of the very persons against whom they denounce the wrath of God if they persist in unbelief.—CLARKE: Salvation only by righteousness: 1. The righteousness, or justification which is by faith, receives Christ as an atoning sacrifice, by which all sin is pardoned; 2. It receives continual supplies of grace from Christ by the eternal Spirit, through which man is enabled to love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself; 3. This grace is afforded in sufficient degrees, suited to all places, times, and circumstances, so that no trial can happen too great to be borne, as the grace of Christ is ever at hand to support and save to the uttermost.—HODGE: It is the first and most pressing duty of the Church to cause all men to hear the gospel. The solemn question, “How can they believe without a preacher?” should sound day and night in the ears of the churches. The gospel’s want of success, or the fact that few believe our report, is only a reason for its wider extension. The more who hear, the more will be saved, even should it be but a small proportion of the whole.—J. F. H.]


[1]Romans 10:1.—[After δέησις, K. L. Rec. insert , defended by Philippi; omitted in א. A. B. D. F. G., by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Meyer, Tholuck, Alford, Tregelles. Probably inserted to limit πρὸς τὸν θεόν to δέησις, since it seemed improper to connect it with εὐδοκία. On the meaning of the last-named word, as involved in the critical question, see Exeg. Notes.

[2]Romans 10:1.—[א. A. B. D. F. G., all modern editors, read αὐτῶν, instead of τοῦ ̓Ισραήλ (K. L. Rec.). The latter was substituted as an explanatory gloss, which was the more necessary, as this verse began a church lesson (Lange). ̓Εστιν (to complete the sense) is inserted before εἰς σωτ. in Rec., on the authority of א3. K. L.; rejected by modern editors generally.

[3]Romans 10:1.—[Rec. (א.3. K. L.) insert ἕστιν before εἰς σωτηρίαν. This probably led to the paraphrase of the E. V.

[4]Romans 10:3.—[A. B. D., a number of versions and fathers, omit δικαιοαύην after ἰδίαν. (So Lachmann, Tischendorf, Wordsworth, Tregelles.) It is found in א3. F. K. L., Syriac, &c.; also after ζητοῦτες in one cursive. It is retained by Meyer, Lange; bracketted by Alford, who, in his notes, agrees with the authors just named, in thinking the repetition to be original and emphatic, but easily deemed superfluous; hence the omission.

[5]Romans 10:4.—[Dr. Lange’s rendering is striking: Denn das Endziel des Gesetzes ist: Christus zur Gerechtigkeit für Jeden, der glaubt (For the end of the law is: Christ as righteousness for every one who believes). Luther’s version is really a paraphrase: Denn Christus ist des Gesetzes Ende; wer an den glaubt, der ist gerecht.

[6]Romans 10:5.—[The E. V. has translated ὅτι, which is here merely a quotation-mark (ὅτι recitantis). The above emendation is from the Revision by Five Anglican Clergymen. The ὅτι is found before τὴν σικ. in א1. A. D1.—an alteration, on account of the accusative after γράφει.—The quotation is from Levit. 18:5. If the reading of the Rec. be adopted, the only variation is , instead of ; a change necessary to adapt the citation to its position here. See next Note.

[7]Romans 10:5.—[The correct reading is difficult to determine. Most editors now retain αὐτά (Rec., א3. B. F. G., most versions and fathers). Instead of ἐν αὐτοῖς (Rec., א3. D. F. L., some versions and fathers, Meyer, Wordsworth Lange), the reading ἐν αὐτῆ is found in א1. A. B., many versions, and is accepted by Lachmann, De Wette, Alford Tregelles. The singular would be a variation from both the LXX. and the Hebrew; yet this but renders an alteration to the plural (for the sake of conformity) the more probable. On the other hand, Meyer urges strongly that the plural stands or falls with αὐτά, which is now generally accepted. The change to the singular may have been made to guard against the validity of the righteousness of works, as indeed A. substitutes ρίστεως for νόμου. With some hesitation, I hold to the reading of the Rec.

[8]Romans 10:6.—[From this point to the middle of Romans 10:8, we have a free citation from the LXX., Deut. 30:12–14. Parts of the verses are quoted, but there is only one considerable variation (at the beginning of Romans 10:7). As the LXX. does not differ materially from the Hebrew, we give only the text of the former: (Romans 10:11, ὅτι ἡ ἐντολὴ αὕτη, ἥ ἐγώ ἐντέλλομαί σοι σήμερον, οὐχ ὐρέρογλός ἐστιν, οὐδέ μακράν ἀπὸ σοῦ ἐστιν.) 12. οὐκ ἐν τῶ οὐρανῶ ἄνω ἐστί λέγων. τίςἁναβήσεται ἡμῖν εἰν τὸν οὐρανόν καὶ λήψεται ἡμῖν καὶ ἀκούσαντες αὐτ̀ͅν ποιήσομεν; 13. οὐσὲ ρέραν τῆς θαλάσσηςἀναβήσεται ἡμῖν εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν καὶ λήψεται ἡμῖν θαλάσσης καὶ λάβῃ ἡμῖν καὶ ἁκουστήν ποιήσῃ αὑτήν καὶ ποιήσομεν 14. ἐγγύς σου ἐστὶ τὸ ῥῆμα σφόδρα ἐν τῶ στο.ματί σου, καὶ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου καὶ ἐν ταῖς χερσί σου ποῖεναὐτό. The New Testament text is remarkably well established throughout. The variations from the LXX. are noticed in the Exeg. Notes.

[9]Romans 10:9.—[B. has ὅτι κύριος ̓Ιησοῦς, some fathers; others add ἕστιν. These readings are doubtless explanatory glosses, and, as such, tend to confirm the interpretation given in the brackets above: Jesus as Lord. See Exeg. Notes; also on the rendering because.—The E. V. improperly translates ἥγειρεν, hath raised. It is the historical aorist.

[10]Romans 10:10.—[The E. V. has made this verb active, and the second one passive. Both are passive. It would seem as if this rendering was borrowed from the German: man glaubt, which exactly expresses the force of the Greek.

[11]Romans 10:12.—[Literally: there is no distinction of Jew and Greek; but this sounds too abstract, as if the distinctions were obliterated, as in Gal. 3:28. Here it is better, then, to preserve the concrete idea, by using between. So Rev. Five Ang. Clergymen.

[12]Romans 10:12.—[Lange renders: Denn Einer und derselbe ist Herr von Allen. So Noyes: For one and the same is Lord over all. Five Ang. Clergymen: The same is Lord over all. The Amer. Bible Union as above. This is most literal. Alford, indeed, objects, “on account of the strangeness of ὁ αὐτός thus standing alone; but this is met by Dr. Lange in the Exeg. Notes, where he expands the phrase into: One and the same. Lord is Lord over all. Stuart: There is the same Lord; which is harsh. On the whole, it is best to find the predicate here, and not supply is with rich, as is done in the E. V.

[13]Romans 10:13.—[This is almost word for word from the LXX., Joel 2:32 (Heb. 3:5): καὶ ἕσται πᾶς ὅς, κ.τ.λ. The γάρ is inserted to introduce the proof. In Acts 2:21, the citation is made even more exactly. The strong form of the Greek is retained by rendering, every one whosoever (Alford, Five Ang. Clergymen); Amer. Bible Union, Noyes: every one who.

[14]Romans 10:14.—[In each of the four interrogative sentences of Romans 10:14, 15, the exact form of the leading verb is doubtful. The Rec. in every case gives the future indicative, but the uncial authority supports the aorist subjunctive, the deliberative or conjunctive aorist. The MS. authority is given in the separate notes. Here the Rec., with K. L., and some fathers, reads: ἐπικαλέσ ονται; א. A. B. D. F. G.: ἑπικαλέσωνται. The future is supported by Meyer, and apparently accepted by Dr. Lange. The aorist is adopted throughout by most critical editors. (So Tregelles.) As the variation here involves only the change of ω into ο, it is readily accounted for. The E. V. gives a correct rendering of the future, which, indeed, in these cases differs little in meaning from the conjunctive. Can is substituted to express the force of the correct reading, although it is perhaps a shade too strong. The Amer. Bible Union omits have in the relative clauses throughout; but, although this is a literal rendering of the aorist, it here obscures the meaning by destroying the litotes. All other later versions properly retain the English perfect.

[15]Romans 10:14.—[Rec., A. K. L.: πιστεύσ ου σιν. א1. B. D. F. G. ἀκούσονται. The last two prefix the argument.

[16]Romans 10:14.—[Rec. L.: ἀκούσ ου σιν; א1. D. F. G.: ἀκούσονται; א3. A2. B. ἀκούσωσιν; the latter, though not so well supported as the other aorists, is probably correct, since there is no reason for a change of tense.

[17]Romans 10:15.—[Rec. (no MSS.): κηρύξ ου σιν;. א. A. B. D. K. L.: κηρύξωσιν. This well-supported aorist seems to decide the other cases.

[18]Romans 10:15.—[Isa. 52:7. The quotation is not exact, though giving the sense of the Hebrew. The LXX. is scarcely followed at all. See Exeg. Notes.

[19]Romans 10:15.—[The words:εὐαγγελιζομένων εἰρήνην, τῶν, are omitted in א1. A. B. C., by some versions and fathers; rejected by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles; bracketted by Alford. They are found in א3. D. F. K. L., many versions and fathers; retained by Meyer, Wordsworth, Lange, on the ground that the repetition might easily lead to the omission. This view will readily be allowed by any one who examines the passage, since it is easy to mistake the first occurrence of so long a word for the second. The original passage, of course, favors the retention.—The uncial authority against τά (Rec) before ἀγαθά, is decisive. The E. V. takes away the exact parallelism by rendering εὐαγγελιζμένων by a different phrase in each clause. A paraphrase is necessary in any case, from the poverty of our language.

[20]Romans 10:16.—[Here also gospel is too restricted. The above emendation is adopted by Amer. Bible Union, Noyes, Five Ang. Clergymen.

[21]Romans 10:16.—[As none of the modern versions have altered this citation, it is allowed to remain, but the reader will find, in the Exeg. Notes the view of Forbes, which would be thus expressed: Who (of us) hath believed what we heard?

[22]Romans 10:17.—[א1. B. C. D1., many versions (including the Vulgate) Χριστοῦ; adopted by Lachmann, Alford, Tregelles. The great majority of the fathers, of modern commentators sustain the reading of the Rec. (א. corr. A. D23. K. L., some versions). Bede: Dei Christi. Alford deems the received reading “a rationalizing correction,” while Meyer, De Wette, and most, think the other was a later gloss, which is more probable.

[23]Romans 10:19.—[The order of the Rec. is poorly supported. א. A. B. C, and others: ̓Ισραὴλ οὐκἔγνω, adopted by critical editors. The alteration in the order of the English text is sustained by modern versions.

[24] Romans 10:20.—[The Hebrew text of Isa. 65:1, as far as cited by Paul, is:נִרְדַשְׁתִּי לְלוֹא נִמְצֵאתִי לְלאֹ בִקְשֻׁנִי׃

The LXX.: ἐμφανὴς ἐγεήθην τοῖς ἐμε μὴ ἐπερωτ͂σιν, εὑρέθην τοῦς ἐμέ μὴ ζητοῦσιν. The variations are a transposition of the clauses, and ἐγενόμην, instead of ἐγενήθην. The Hebrew is followed with exactness.—̓Εν is inserted after εὑρέθην, in B. D1. F.; bracketted by Alford and Tregelles.

[25]Romans 10:21.—[The order of the LXX. is: ἐζεπέτασα τ. χ. μ. ὅλην τῆν ἡμέραν ; otherwise the citation is exact. The καὶἀντιλέγον τα is an addition of the LXX. The Hebrew gives but one adjective, סוֹרֵר, rebellious.To Israel, is not correct; with respect to, concerning, is the meaning, which, however, is sufficiently indicated by of; so Five Ang. Clergymen, Amer. Bible Union.—R.]

[26][Stuart, and others, take the phrase righteousness of God here as = God’s method of justification. How incorrect this is, will appear from a reference to p. 74 ff. Dr. Hodge says, very properly: “It is that on which the sentence of justification is founded.” Alford: “that righteousness, which avails before God, which becomes ours in justification.”—R.]

[27][Alford defends the passive sense, as expressing the result only, it might be themselves, or some other that subjected them—the historical fact was, they were not subjected. But as this verse presents an antithesis to μέν (Romans 10:1); and as the whole current of thought implies their personal guilt, the middle sense is preferable, and is adopted, by the majority of commentators.—R.]

[28][Meyer thus paraphrases: “For in Christ the validity of the law has come to an end, that righteousness should become the portion of every believing one.”—R.]

[29][Dr. Lange’s view is, on the whole, to be preferred; but he does not clearly state those of other commentators. We append, therefore, the three opinions most in faver. (1) Christ is the aim (Endziel) of the law. (So Chrysostom, Calvin, Beza, Bengel, Alford, Webster and Wilkinson, and others.) This view means either (a.) the end of the law was to make men righteous, and this end is accomplished in Christ (Chrysostom, Stuart, and others); or, (b.) the law led to Him, as schoolmaster (Calvin, and others, Tholuck reaches this from another point of view). (2) Christ is the fulfilment of the law (τέλον = πλήρωμα). This is, indeed, true, but scarcely meets the requirements of this passage, especially if law be limited to the ceremonial law. (3) Christ is the termination of the law (Augustine, Luther, Tholuck, Meyer, Hodge). This is the chronological view, which Dr. Lange calls the negative one. In what sense he is the termination of the law, is also a matter of dispute (ceremonial, or moral?). Some confusion exists in most commentaries in the citing of authorities. In fact, these meanings largely run into each other. In favor of the last, it may be urged that the Apostle is drawing such a contrast here between the righteousness of the law and the righteousness of faith (Romans 10:5, 6), as requires a strong antithesis between the law and Christ; but unless we interpret: “When Christ came, the old legal system was abolished, and a new era commenced” (Hodge), this antithesis will not be correct. Yet the fact that Paul quotes from the law itself to support the claims of the righteousness of faith, seems inconsistent with this view. (See below.) Nor will it be evident how this verse introduces a proof of the non-submission of the Jews to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3), unless it asserts that the law led to Christ, rather than that Christ abolished the law. All three views may be included, but the first is the more prominent one.—R.]

[30][The translator found it necessary to make some changes in the order of the original. In making the additions, it was found to be impossible to avoid confusion, without further transpositions. Nothing has been omitted, but it has been an unusually difficult task to present Dr. Lange’s notes in a shape that would correspond to the order of the Apostle’s words.—R.]

[31][To this may be added the exalted sense which ζωή has in the New Testament. Comp. Tholuck, Trench (referring to Christ’s calling himself ἡ ζωή): “No wonder, then, that Scripture should know of no higher word than ζωή to set forth either the blessedness of God, or the blessedness of the creature in communion with God.” Syn. New Testament, § 27—R.]

[32][Dr. Lange thus attempts to avoid the two opposing views (1) that an actual outward obedience was followed by actual temporal blessings, and that this was all the saying of Moses meant; (2) that the law belonged to a covenant of works, the conditions of which could not be fulfilled. The first is altogether out of keeping with the Apostle’s argument. The second seems to put the law in a wrong position; for the law, although made a mere expression of the condition of a legal righteousness, is really something far more; it is the schoolmaster, &c. comp. chap. 7 and Gal. 3:19–25. The antithesis between Romans 10:5 and 6 is not absolute, but relative. Even the doing and living, pointed to Christ, was fulfilled in Christ; who, by His vicarious doing and living, makes us live and do.—R.]

[33][STUART:But justification by faith speaketh thus. The sense is the same as to say: ‘one who preaches justification by faith, might say,’ ” &c. This is scarcely allowable, for it transfers the whole passage altogether out of the period of Moses’ words, besides putting a limited and inexact meaning uponσικαιωσύνη.—R.]

[34][So Hodge: “Without directly citing this passage, Paul uses nearly the same language to express the same idea.” Stuart: “It is the general nature of the imagery, in the main, which is significant to the purpose of the writer. Paul means simply to affirm that, if Moses could truly say that his law was intelligible and accessible, the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ is still more so.” But this method of regarding the passage is open to very grave objections. It regards Paul as sanctioning that dangerous use of Scripture, “by way of accommodation,” which is evidently wrong, judged by its evil effects on preacher and people at the present day.—R.]

[35][Either the word respecting faith, or, which forms the substratum and object of faith (Alford). The latter is to be preferred, since word, just before, must be taken in a very wide sense, as including the whole subject-matter of the gospel. The personal object of faith is near, is certainly implied in Romans 10:7; but this is not directly expressed here.—R.]

[36][Alford thus paraphrases: “With the heart, faith is exercised (πιστεύεται, men believe) unto (so as to be available to the acquisition of) righteousness, but (q. d., not only so; but there must be an outward confession, in order for justification to be carried forward to salvation) with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” “Σωτ. is the ‘terminus ultimus et apex justificationis,’ consequent lot merely on the act of justifying faith, but on a good confession before the world, maintained unto the end.”—R.]

[37][Dr. Hodge is very guarded here: “By confessing Him before men, we secure the performance of His promise that He will confess us before the angels of God.” But surely we may not fear to interpret salvation as an actual salvation, begun here in us, and to culminate at that time, when we shall be thus confessed.—R.]

[38][Alford: “The Apostle seems to use it here as taking up παντὶ τῷ πιστεύντι, Romans 10:4.” At all events, there is a recurrence to the starting-point, Romans 9:33, where the same passage was cited, and this enlargement of it is at once established in the verses which follow. A weighty monosyllable!—R.]

[39][Meyer means that, if God is referred to, we must add this definition, “God in Christ;” which is altogether arbitrary, as he well remarks.—R.]

[40][Dr. Hodge: “It is an argument founded on the principle, that if God wills the end, He wills also the means.” He properly opposes Calvin’s view, that the Apostle is proving the design of sending the gospel to the Gentiles from the fact that they have received it. Still, Dr. Lange’s view (which is that of De Wette and Meyer) seems yet more exact, since the providing of the means is more marked in this passage than their success.—R.]

[41][This is the classical usage, and all the New Testament passages can be quite as readily explained thus. The Hebrew word is not Hiphil, yet the common interpretation forces a Hiphil sense upon it.—R.]

[42][Stuart has a singular view respecting this verse. He finds in it the suggestion of the Jewish objector, whom he has already discovered in Romans 10:14, 15, to the effect that “many of the Jews are not culpable for unbelief, inasmuch as they have not heard the gospel, and hearing it is necessary to the believing of it.”—R.]

[43][The LXX. thus renders קַוָּם, which means, first, their line; then, from the string of an instrument, their sound.—R.]

[44][Bretschneider and Reiche take Israel as the object of the verb, and supply God as subject. Did not God know Israel! But this is arbitrary, and not in accordance with the context.—R.]

[45][Noyes, in his version, preserves the parallelism of the verbs; παραζηλώσ ω, παροργῖω, by the paraphrase: I will move you to jealousy, I will excite you to indignation.—R.]

[46][Stier, Jesaias, nicht Pseudo-Jesaias, pp. 797 ff.—R.]

[47][So Conybeare: “The metaphor is that of a mother opening her arms to call back her child to her embrace.”—R.]

Lange, John Peter - Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bible Hub
Romans 9
Top of Page
Top of Page